The Building Together group was convened in late 2010 to address issues surrounding multifamily affordable housing. Building Together originally consisted of representatives from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), the Michigan Housing Council (MHC). Later, representatives from USDA Rural Development and HUD were added.
Building Together has the following mission: To create safe, quality, and sustainable affordable multifamily housing for Michigan individuals and families with low to moderate incomes in order to have healthy communities.
Building Together has four working subcommittees and an executive committee dedicated to addressing issues. We’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit in our first few years, including those accomplishments here: Year One Accomplishments or Year Two Accomplishments.
The Purpose of Building Together
Building Together was formed to support and grow communication among the major organizations involved in affordable housing development in Michigan. The shared mission of the Building Together members is to create safe, quality and sustainable affordable housing for Michigan individuals and families with low to moderate incomes in order to have healthy communities. The goals of the group are:
Communication Channels within Building Together
The Executive Committee is the hub of decision-making for the Building Together initiative. In this group are leaders from the state-level partners (CEDAM, MHC, and MSHDA) and leaders from federal partners (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development). The Executive Committee is responsible for the strategic direction of Building Together and decisions about public statements and products related to it. The Executive Committee meets monthly to discuss overall progress, review products, and discuss emerging issues.
The subcommittees of Building Together include Executive Committee members as well as other representatives from the partner organizations. Each subcommittee is responsible for collaborative work on specific areas of interest to the initiative, in pursuit of its goals and mission. The subcommittees report back to the Executive Committee with their strategic focuses and recommendations for action, which are detailed in their action plans. The Executive Committee approves the actions.
When a partner organization, or any of their members, has a concern related to affordable housing in the state, they can speak to a Building Together member or raise the concern in one of the subcommittees or the Executive Committee meetings. Issues are identified outside of the Building Together network as well, such as via public hearings held by MSHDA.
Depending on the scope and focus of the issue, it may be referred to internal agency staff, a Building Together subcommittee, or the Executive Committee. The issues addressed within Building Together have broad effects (e.g., affecting multiple developers) and often require coordinated action to resolve. When appropriate, the Building Together members involve outside partners to address particular issues. Concerns raised and addressed by members to date have included internal agency procedures, alignment of policies across agencies, and improvements to existing policies.