Low-Income Families in Kalamazoo Are Struggling to Find Housing

Oct 4, 2017

Credit Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

It’s getting harder to find affordable housing in Kalamazoo, according to the county’s Public Housing Commission.

The board is tasked with helping homeless families find places to live, but Chair David Anderson says it’s increasingly a struggle to find housing within a low-income family’s budget.

Anderson says a population bump is one likely reason that units have become scarcer, adding that rents have also gone up.

“I think there’s going to be a larger countywide community discussion with foundations, with the county itself in terms of, ‘what does a county housing strategy look like?’” he told the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. Anderson said it’s time for officials to start working on that strategy.

The county is using funds from a special tax to help homeless families with children to find housing. Despite the lack of units, Anderson says the program did meet its first-year goal of moving 100 of those families into homes.

He says suspensions are down and attendance is up for schoolchildren in those families.