Housing Plans & Programs

Housing & Resource Specialist

Jonathon Hallberg
Deputy Director of Economic Development
Tina Perry 
Housing & Neighborhood Services Specialist
  1. Attainable Housing in Portage
  2. Housing Assistance Programs
  3. Housing Discrimination Resources

A Focus on Housing 

The W.E. Upjohn Institute Kalamazoo County Housing Plan, published in July 2022, forecasts that Kalamazoo County will need an additional 7,750 dwelling units, spread across all cost categories, by 2030. The authors of the plan advised action when they concluded, “Local leaders will need to implement various strategies to enable and incentivize that increase in the supply of housing.” 

On January 10, 2023, the City Council established seven priorities for the coming fiscal year.  One of those seven priorities is to, “Faithfully follow strategies laid out in the Portage Attainable Housing plan adopted by City Council on December 20, 2022.” In support of this commitment, the City Administration continues to strengthen efforts to increase housing opportunities in Portage. The two examples below are just the beginning of the city’s focus on housing. 

View the 2022 Attainable Housing Plan

From Vacant Lots to Family Homes: A Collaboration with KNHS

Utilizing funding made available through the Kalamazoo County “Housing for All” Millage, the City of Portage is collaborating with Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services (KNHS) to develop homes on two city-owned parcels along Oakland Drive. KNHS has been helping low- and moderate-income households realize the dream of homeownership for decades through credit counseling, homebuyer education, and specialized loan products. Together with the Home Builders Association of Western Michigan, KNHS is building a three-bedroom walkout with an attached garage at 7905 Oakland Drive, and a two-bedroom with an attached garage at 5916 Oakland Drive. “These homes fit into the fabric of the neighborhood and will serve our hard-working families for decades,” said Mary Balkema, Kalamazoo County Housing Director.

The two new homes are nearing completion and will be sold within the next couple of months. In order to qualify, prospective homebuyers must earn 100% or lower of the Area Median Income (AMI) and participate in KNHS homebuyer education and mortgage coaching services. Area median incomes (AMI) are the midpoint of a specific area’s income distribution and are determined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For the City of Portage, a household of four making 100% AMI would have a combined income between $91,700 and $99,099 per year.  

View more information on AMI for the City of Portage

A Field of Housing Opportunities: Portage Road/Lake Center Housing Development 

A 14-acre vacant parcel of city-owned land at 9617 Portage Road offers the potential to create a new workforce housing neighborhood as part of a public, private, and non-profit collaboration. The City Council recently approved an agreement with AVB Inc. to develop approximately 60 single-family homes on the property just south of beautiful Lakeview Park. Current plans call for a mix of two- and three-bedroom homes with both ranch and two-story options.

View the conceptual plans for the Portage Road/Lake Center Housing Development

On May 16, 2023, Kalamazoo County Commissioners voted to fund up to $3M of the project through the “Housing for All” Millage dollars. These funds, along with previously committed dollars from the City of Portage and Kalamazoo County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocations, will help bring down the purchase price for potential homebuyers. To be eligible to purchase a home in the new development, prospective homebuyers must be within the 80-120% range of area median income, and they will need to participate in the same KNHS homebuyer education and credit counseling required for the homes on Oakland Drive. The City of Portage plans to put the parcel in a community land trust, which will allow the homes to be sold at affordable prices to middle-income homebuyers and ensure the same level of affordability through future sales. 

Middle Income AMI