September 2023 / Vol. 04

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September 25

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September 26

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Traverse City has been facing a significant affordable housing issue in recent years. The City has seen a rapid increase in housing prices, making it more challenging for low and moderate income families and individuals to find attainable housing options.

The affordable housing issue in Traverse City is a complex problem that affects many individuals and families in the area. There are many factors that contribute to the issue, including rising housing costs, limited affordable housing options, and stagnant wages. To address this issue, a multi-faceted solution is necessary, one that involves multiple partners and utilizes a variety of tools and approaches.

At the September 25, 2023 City Commission meeting, Yarrow Brown, Executive Director of Housing North and Warren Call, Traverse Connect President will give a presentation and answer questions regarding the Housing Needs Assessment report and tools for affordability, such as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), Neighborhood Enterprise Zones (NEZ), and Brownfield/TIF for Housing.

The Housing Needs Assessment is a comprehensive report that analyzes the current housing situation. The report takes into account various factors such as demographics, economics, and housing availability to determine the current and future housing needs of the community. By analyzing and understanding the data collected in the Housing Needs Assessment, stakeholders can create policies and programs that contribute to the availability of safe, affordable, and accessible housing for all members of the community.

Overview of Housing Data

  • The City has seen significant overall household growth since 2010 and is projected to continue through 2027.
  • There is a relatively large and growing base of seniors aged 65 and older, although more moderate growth is projected among some younger age cohorts as well.
  • Notable growth of renter households earning between $30,000 and $39,999 and those earning $60,000 or more is projected over the next five years
  • While the overall number of owner households is projected to increase substantially, most of this growth will occur within the highest income households (earning $100,000 or more). The preceding attributes and trends will influence the area’s housing needs.
  • There is a high share of renter-occupied housing units within the market, although owner-occupied units comprise a sizable majority of the total housing inventory.
  • Seasonal/recreational housing does not appear to represent a large share of housing units in the market.
  • Renter households are slightly more likely to live in a housing cost overburdened situation.
  • Large multifamily apartments comprise the majority of the rental market in the subject area and exhibit high occupancy rates.
  • There are a limited number of available non-conventional rentals (e.g., houses, duplexes, mobile homes, etc.) within the entirety of the county, and as a result there is a low overall inventory of available rentals in the market.
  • ONLY 34 homes are available for purchase in the market, this represents a limited available for-sale housing stock, given the market size.


Learn about the Mayoral and City Commission candidates on the November 7, 2023 ballot at the Traverse City Area League of Women Voters Candidate Forum.

Mayoral Candidates

Tom Mair

Amy Shamroe

City Commission Candidates

Jackie Anderson

Kenneth M. Funk

Caroline Kennedy

Mary Mills

Chris Minkin

Shea M. O’Brien

Merek Roman

Heather Shaw

Mitchell Treadwell

Candidate Forum

September 26, 2023

Traverse Area District Library, McGuire Room

610 Woodmere Avenue

The Mayoral Candidates are first on the agenda from 5:30—5:55, followed by the Commissioner candidates 6-7:30 pm.

The forum will also be broadcasted on Spectrum channel 189 and livestreamed on Traverse City Community Media website.



Major construction for the Madison & Jefferson Reconstruction Project began in June 2023. The project continues to progress and is on schedule to be completed by November 10, 2023, weather permitting.

Project Summary

Street reconstruction, improvements to the sanitary sewer, water main, and storm sewer utilities are being planned within the project limits of Jefferson Avenue from Fulton Street to Elmwood Avenue, and Madison Street from Front Street to Wayne Street. Also included are improvements to mobility and safety with the addition of a sidewalk on the north side of Jefferson. Crossing widths at the intersections will be reduced on Madison for shorter pedestrian crossing distances. Speed tables were included on Madison to discourage excessive speeds within the long blocks. Parking will be moved to the east side only on Madison to enhance mobility where sidewalks are most accessible. Lastly, the project will include green infrastructure elements such as drywells and bioswales.

Increased Tree Canopy

The City will maintain the urban tree canopy with the inclusion of 27 street trees in the project scope fill in areas where street trees would be most appropriate to provide for the Formal Residential Character identified in the current Master Plan.  


Are you interested in serving the beautiful City of Traverse City? Serving on a board or commission can be a rewarding experience that allows you to make a difference in our community. Boards and commissions are responsible for making key decisions and providing direction to the City and City Commission.

Interested in Becoming Involved?

The City is seeking volunteers for the following Boards and Committees. Please feel free to contact the City Clerk's Office with any questions at (231) 922-4480 or by email at to learn more on the appointment process through the City Commission Policy on Appointments and Committees. 

  • Local Officers Compensation Commission
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Board of Review
  • Coast Guard City
  • Planning Commission 
  • Parks and Recreation

Attend Meetings and/or Subscribe to Meeting Packets

Attending meetings or following the work of your fellow community members who sit on various boards and commissions is the best way to stay in the know on the policies and initiatives that are being developed to shape our future. 

Subscribe to Meeting Agendas

Watch Streamed Meetings

City Commission, Planning Commission, Downtown Development Authority, and TC Light & Power meetings are all live streamed. Visit the link below to watch live or view the recordings at a later time.

Watch Streamed Meetings




Thanks to Central Neighborhood Association for hosting another fantastic Porch Fest!


The River Guardian along the Boardman/Ottaway River symbolizes the importance of watershed protection and restoration. Guarding the river near the Cass Street Bridge and the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market, the River Guardian was a 1999 installation by artist Dewey Blocksma and was made from found materials.

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