New Legislation Will Revitalize Communities, Deliver on Make it in Michigan Plan to Invest in Places Around Michigan

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Tax increment financing, Transformational Brownfield Fund will build more affordable housing and transform underutilized or abandoned property into productive space.

LANSING, Mich.—Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to power economic development in communities across Michigan by unlocking new tools to finance affordable housing and setting up the Transformational Brownfield Fund to convert vacant land and other abandoned property into productive space.

“Today, we are taking a solid step forward on our Make it in Michigan strategy to help more people, businesses, and communities ‘make it’ in Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “Whether it’s renovating the old bank or theater on main street or building affordable housing on abandoned land, Michigan communities are on the move, open for business, and showing the world how much we have to offer. These bills will create good-paying jobs, grow the economy, and lower costs for businesses and families looking for affordable housing options. Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator and work together to ensure anyone can make it in Michigan.”

Senate Bills 129, 130, 131, and 132 unlock new economic development tools for affordable housing development projects through the state Brownfield program. The bills allow tax revenues captured through local brownfield redevelopment authorities to fund affordable housing costs with the approval of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, making it easier and more affordable to build affordable housing in Michigan.

“Affordable housing is a national crisis, and Michigan is no exception,” said State Senator Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), sponsor of SB 129. “It’s critical we take action to address the needs of residents in communities across the state to ensure they have access to stable and affordable housing. These bills will give our local communities more tools, and incentive, to invest in affordable housing projects, signaling the commitment to addressing this crisis head-on.”

“We’re not just removing eyesores, we’re removing barriers to transform literal and economic landscapes,” said State Senator Kristin McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City), sponsor of SB 130. “I’m proud to help give local governments this option to redevelop blighted properties for residential purposes because it will improve our environment, revitalize neighborhoods and increase affordable housing.”

“Affordable housing is a crisis across Michigan that the legislature is committed to addressing from every angle,” said State Senator Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp), sponsor of SB 131. “I was proud to work with my colleagues to introduce this legislation, creating another tool we can utilize in solutions to affordable housing access and community development.”

“With the signing of the TIF package, we can help put sites that are no longer contributing to the economy to good use providing housing for local residents, a need we consistently hear about from residents, businesses, and local governments alike,” said State Senator Sue Shink (D-Northfield Township), sponsor of SB 132. “This type of financing will incentivize the cleanup of these sites while also bringing new investment to our communities.”

“The new TIF tool will be a game-changer for MSHDA and local governmental units interested in developing attainable/workforce housing in their communities,” said MSHDA Executive Director Amy Hovey. “It’s a flexible tool that can be used to help fund rental, for sale, single family, multifamily, new construction, and rehabilitation opportunities for those up to 120% of area median income. Having an adequate supply of housing in this range is critical for attracting and retaining talent and helping more people reach their full potential in Michigan.”

Senate Bill 289 would establish the Transformational Brownfield Fund to help convert underutilized, vacant, or abandoned property in communities across Michigan into productive space ready for business investment and community revitalization projects.

“There is no other program designed for, or capable of, supporting brownfield redevelopments of this scale and impact, putting obsolete vacant land back to proper use,” said State Senator Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), sponsor of SB 289. “It’s a tool that will help keep and attract talent here, grow our population, and create the kind of vibrant locations that people want to live in—while retaining the local input and control that communities are looking for. This legislation is called ‘transformational’ for a reason, and is another key piece to Michigan Democrats’ holistic, comprehensive approach to economic development.”

“This legislation amplifies our Make it in Michigan economic development framework that focuses on people, places, and projects. It will allow us to win more for Michiganders by accelerating our ability to impact where people and businesses call home, including accessible housing and attractive physical places,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Prosperity must be widely shared for our state to thrive, and whether it is increasing affordable housing projects in the state, or transforming unproductive spaces into economic drivers, these programs build momentum for our efforts to create economic opportunity for all Michiganders.”

“These important amendments will allow for redevelopment of underutilized sites into vibrant, mixed-use community assets on property that is currently generating little to no taxes,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “Thank you to the governor and legislature for recognizing the importance of this valuable tool and financing strategy for transformational projects in the City of Grand Rapids and cities throughout our state.”

Make it in Michigan
A comprehensive strategy to make more in Michigan. From good-paying jobs; a skilled, talented workforce; vibrant places to live, work, and raise a family; and powerful tools to bring manufacturing and supply chains home, Make it in Michigan will continue the state’s momentum to build a brighter future.   
The strategy aims to:  

  • Make Michigan a top state for talent with low unemployment, higher labor force participation, more training and upskilling, and stronger talent attraction.   
  • Make Michigan more competitive in key sectors like research & development, advanced manufacturing, and clean tech--electric vehicles, batteries, semiconductor chips to ensure long-term economic strength.
  • Make Michigan an arsenal of innovation where entrepreneurs and young companies have opportunities and resources to grow and expand.   
  • Make Michigan a state full of attractive, vibrant communities where people want to live, work, and grow with investments to build more housing, expand access and lower the cost of child care, connect homes and businesses to high-speed internet, redevelop vacant or blighted properties, and bring new life to main streets and downtowns.   

The three pillars of Make it in Michigan are projects, people, and places. Governor Whitmer is focused on competing for and winning projects to bring manufacturing and supply chains home, investing in people so they can pursue their potential from pre-K through postsecondary and have their personal freedoms protected, and revitalizing places to make them more attractive places to live, work, and invest.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.