Yarrow Brown is the Executive Director of Housing North, a non-profit that advocates for and assists local communities to provide housing for their citizens.
Housing North was formed by many partners to overcome the barriers that stand in the way of housing solutions for rural communities in Benzie and nine other counties in northwestern Michigan.  To help the region understand and take part in housing solutions, Housing North organized its Homes For Our Future campaign. Originally launched in early 2020, the campaign is a call to action from the public, local governments, employers, and community organizations, and is intended to provide clear courses of action and resources about how to engage in, support, and lead work toward housing solutions.

‚ÄčThere are four main goals for the Homes for Our Future campaign in 2021:

  • Creation of local committees to support grassroots advocacy, including advocacy training events and development and promotion of an advocacy toolkit.

  • Increased numbers of the general public as advocates and campaign supporters.

  • Adoption of resolutions by county and local governments and sponsorships/endorsements by employers/affiliate advocacy groups.

  • ‚ÄčIntroduction of Housing Ready Checklists to local/county governments in the 10-county region.

In 2020 Housing North conducted a Target Market Analysis for Benzie County, showing a need in the county for 700 homes.  Since 2020  a dozen units of government have endorsed the Homes for Our Future Campaign, but Benzie County has not. Yarrow encouraged us to contact our local township officials in this regard.

In the Q&A that followed Yarrow's presentation many confirmed the need for affordable housing in Benzie County.  Anyone interested in the subject should consider attending Housing North's virtual housing summit from October 19 to 21.