Peninsula Housing, the Leelanau County-based community land trust, has announced the acquisition of a duplex rental property on St. Joseph St. in Lake Leelanau, purchased with the help of a loan from Housing North as part of a pilot rental preservation program. The tenants will be able to remain at their present below market rates, even though Peninsula Housing paid market price for the property.

One of three duplex units at Maple City Crossings—Habitat for Humanity’s affordable housing project in the middle of Leelanau County—is complete and will welcome homeowners within the next few months. All homes at Maple City Crossings boast energy efficient electric heating and cooling systems, thanks in part to a $5,000 Energize Challenge grant that Habitat for Humanity received in November 2022 from Leelanau Energy.

For college students and others seeking summer employment in Benzie and Leelanau counties, getting a job is often the easy part. The hard part comes in finding a place to live. “It’s a significant barrier to anyone who’s not local,” said Isabella Beshouri, a University of Michigan student who spent a month in 2021 finding a summer rental after being hired as an intern at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. That barrier is being lowered in 2022 and beyond through an innovative “seasonal employee housing exchange” sponsored by the Sleeping Bear Gateways Council (SBGC) and funded through grants from local foundations and the federal government.

Here’s an affordable housing success story in Leelanau County. Habitat for Humanity broke ground Nov. 16 on three duplex units that, as soon as a year from now, will house six families at the Maple City Crossings development at the corner of Maple Street and Western Avenue. Kal Excavating is preparing the two-acre parcel for the project.

As vacation rentals become more prevalent throughout Leelanau County, off-season rentals do as well. Off-season rentals are a semi-permanent solution for residents, and typically offer a nine-month lease to those who are willing to move out during the peak summer months. They can be a good fit for those with flexibility in their work or who need a short-term solution, but do not offer the type of housing solution that is necessary to support our increased summer workforce or maintain healthy communities.

Debbie Ellis had no idea her life was about to change until a student at Glen Lake School, where she works in the kitchen, called out to her as he went through the lunch line this past May.

If you want to solve Glen Arbor’s affordable housing problem, some say look no further than Empire. Here, the Sun speaks to several prominent village citizens who have varied responses to the issue of affordable housing. All, however, agree on one thing: they love Empire.