“This housing shortage is not only hurting families, but it is crippling the economic development of our community. We need tools that spur new housing development to increase housing stock; we need tools that bring once unproductive land and buildings back to life, we need to ensure current housing is safe and healthy for the families it homes”, said Ken Parrish, InnovaLab Board Chair. “Land Banks need a new approach to how we work. In Kent County, we are using this targeted approach to ensuring developers have the tools they need, while also assisting in the stability of the housing market for all families.”
One of the tools in this toolkit is “InnovaHomes,” a modular home construction innovation that InnovaLaB is debuting in Kent County that can bring in new construction for far less than the traditional new construction housing prices – $150,000 – $230,000 depending on size and finishes. These prices can help with the “missing middle” housing shortage.
This InnovaHomes modular design is a collaboration with Champion Homes, a Troy, MI-based modular housing construction company with over 60 years of experience. Modular homes are built in a factory environment in sections and transported to the construction site where they are installed on permanent foundations and completed by professional installers in as quickly as one week. Because of this construction technique homes can be developed with much more efficiency – not only in time savings but cost savings both concerning labor and land holding time before the property goes to market.
“When new home construction can meet this price points it helps to stabilize lower-income housing prices. Further, these homes can be shipped and constructed in as little as one week which can ensure new houses can come online much more quickly than before which will help developers meet the demand for single or multi-family housing,” said Dave Allen, Executive Director of InnovaLaB. “InnovaHomes is a recognized model that has been working across the country to ensure affordable housing for communities. It also allows for new home ownership and allows us to grow our community to fit the needs of employers and helps ensure a more equitable community.”
When we look for homes across Kent County between the prices of $159,000 and $230,000, there are typically less than 100 homes for sale – across the entire county. This is shockingly low, and it’s causing people who can afford homes at this price to look at homes that were traditionally for lower-income families and raising the price of homes for low-income families.