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Kalamazoo Partnership Pledges $43M for Housing and Economic Programs

KALAMAZOO, MI -- A partnership in the city of Kalamazoo is putting aggressive resources into building more economic opportunity and affordable housing.

Monday, the City Commission unanimously approved two memorandums of understanding with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which outlines an agreement for both entities to provide $43.5 million toward programs by 2022. Kalamazoo is one of a handful of cities nation-wide to be selected by LISC for a 2:1 funding match pilot.

"We are very lucky, the size that we are, to have an office of a national organization," said Commissioner David Anderson, also chair of the Kalamazoo County Public Housing Commission. "I'm really believing that once again we will be able to leverage this resource to help us really take substantive steps on plans we have and desires for improved housing situations and economic development."

Chuck Vliek, LISC vice president, said Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Chicago and Buffalo, N.Y. are among other cities being considered for the pilot. Kalamazoo's stature as the smallest city among them was seen as a positive, Vliek said, as it allows for a more coordinated approach among local groups. Read full story