Amid shortage, land bank builds affordable homes

posted by 24 Hour News 8 -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It doesn’t take long for Dave Allen to illustrate the shortage of affordable housing in Grand Rapids.

The Kent County land bank executive director searched online for homes listed between $169,000 and $200,000 across Kent County.

"There's 88 homes for sale in the entire county at that price point,” Allen explained to 24 Hour News 8 Monday. “(That’s) shockingly low."

It's why the land bank now has a new mission and a new name: InnovaLaB.

When the agency launched in 2010, it focused heavily on tax foreclosures and redeveloping properties during the economic crisis.

There are fewer foreclosures now, but the “missing middle” —  the affordable housing shortage — presents the group with a new problem. The agency hopes to tackle it by installing new-age modular homes.

On Monday, InnovaLaB showed 24 Hour News 8 modular floor plans, inside one of the homes and photos of what the finished product will look like.

“The modular product has changed so much,” Ken Parrish, chairman of InnovaLaB, told 24 Hour News 8. "People won't really be able to tell (it’s a modular home). You won't see a seam in the middle of the house or anything like that.”

Full story from 24 Hour News 8

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