Councilman Michels Promises Push For Affordable Housing Commission

Zach Michels

While rising property values in a community are generally a good thing for the people living within it, there can be some unintended negative consequences to home values with incessant price buoyancy.

One of those negative impacts involves forcing people out of the community simply because they can’t secure or didn’t pursue a high enough paying job to afford local real estate prices, particularly when housing stock is homogenous and leans towards mid- to high-value single family homes, which characterizes the Dexter area’s housing stock accurately.

It’s an issue that Dexter City Councilman Zach Michels has been raising throughout the year, particularly with the ongoing discussions on the new Sloan-Kingsley development along Baker Road, which is still being put together by Peters Building Company as results from local utilities studies are trickling into the process.

While other projects such as the Broad Street redevelopment of Dexter’s old industrial core promise to diversify the local housing stock, these developments are still just proposals on paper and there will be more growth and development in Dexter, which will require ongoing influence in order to continue the effort of housing diversification in the community.

Michels said recently that he will officially pitch the creation of a “Housing Commission” at the city council’s upcoming retreat later this year, during which the council gathers with city administrators to have open-ended discussions on what the next policy priorities should be for the coming fiscal year.

“I think it’s important to make sure that when you graduate high school you don’t have to wait until you’re 45 to buy a house here or for those who are retired to have to downsize,” Michels said. “I think that’s really important to talk about.”

As illustrated in our endorsement of the recent successful bond proposal, home values in the Dexter Community School district have risen and will continue to rise. In fact, the bond proposal had continued modest home value growth baked into it when presented to the voters.

We will continue to follow the development of this commission as discussions continue at the Dexter City Council.

If there’s news you’d like to see on contact Content and Community Manager Sean Dalton at

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