Our thoughts on Gov. Whitmer's State of the State
The largest housing investment in state history was a top priority of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's State of the State address Wednesday evening in Lansing.
Gov. Whitmer called for $1.4 billion of state and federal money to be used to build or rehabilitate 10,000 homes of all sizes and varieties. Its effects would give long-lasting benefits to peoples' environment, health, and finances.
Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer of the Michigan Environmental Council, gave the following statement in response.
"In order for us Michiganders to 'make it' in our own state, we must first and foremost have good homes. They should make us feel comfortable. Their costs should be well within our means. They should keep us safe from pollutants and the extreme heat and weather of climate change. Gov. Whitmer's call for safe, affordable, and green housing will give thousands of families these sorts of homes—especially those that need it most.
"Investing in home retrofits are a critical to making communities vibrant and saving Michiganders money. That is why the Environmental Council is calling on the legislature to target $100 million of the housing investment towards low-income whole-home retrofits."
Jameson also expressed disappointment that protecting natural areas and clean water was not more of a focus in Whitmer’s speech.
“To attract young people to Michigan, preserve our quality of life, and grow our population, Michigan should highlight and invest in the natural places and recreation we have to offer. The Legislature and Governor should continue their momentum by prioritizing what Michiganders have long said they need and want: better housing; easy access to beautiful, natural spaces; robust transportation; and clean water.”
The Michigan Environmental Council and its members advocated for housing investments over the last two years and ultimately helped secure $850 million in funding. The Environmental Council also played a key role passing historic clean energy legislation in 2023.