Marquette Housing Commission looks to the future

The Marquette Housing Commission recently held a special meeting to discuss its trajectory moving forward.

Commissioners are reviewing population trends within the city limits to see where the need for safe and affordable housing will be in the next five, ten, and even twenty years.

“Right now, what we’re looking at is an increase in the baby boomers coming back, and providing some housing for that particular population and also the family housing,” noted Housing Commission Executive Director Sharon Kivikko. “There’s more people coming into Marquette looking for jobs that may have children and they need to find affordable housing in the City of Marquette. It’s really hard to find three and four-bedroom unit City of Marquette.”

Right now, the bulk of their clientele resides in one of two entities.

Pine Ridge Apartments span nine floors, and provide housing for elderly and disabled individuals who make less than $30 thousand a year.

Lake Superior Village is comprised of 42 two, three, and four-bedroom units that are primarily home to low-income families.

Despite the sheer size of the complexes, there is still a growing need for affordable housing.

“We would love to expand our low-income housing. Unfortunately, with the Housing Commission we receive our subsidy from HUD, and HUD is not allowing any additional subsidies,” Kivikko added. “Currently, what we do is we tell HUD how much it costs for us to own, operate, and manage the unit, and then they give us a certain percentage of that. They used to provide up to 96 percent of what we request to be able to operate our housing. Now, they are down to 81 percent of our costs. We have a serious gap between what they’re giving us and what we need to run decent, safe, affordable housing.”

The Commission created a non-profit organization called Marquette Affordable Housing that may help expand the number of low-income units offered in the area.

For more information on how to utilize the Housing Commission’s services, you can go to their website