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Housing Next Vision, Mission, Strategies, Team

Vision: Housing for All

Mission: To unlock market-driven solutions to make workforce housing affordable for all in the greater Ottawa County region.

Need: Ottawa County currently has a workforce housing shortage of 15,000 units as defined by the goal of families not spend more than 35% of their income on housing. Our county is the fastest growing county in the state and has the lowest unemployment rate. These conditions have created a housing supply problem that has directly affected the quality of life for many families in our community and has become a barrier to employers growing their companies locally.

Leverage Points: Parts of the system Housing Next will apply leverage to:

  • Housing stock – Increase number of affordable units through construction and acquisition.

  • Housing cost – lower the cost of units by reducing rent or providing subsidies and efficiencies.

  • Public policy – Create a policy/regulative environment that supports affordable housing.

  • Income supports – apply leverage to support programs that offset non-housing costs to allow more income to go toward housing.

  • Supportive services – Use the Housing Initiative Fund at the United Way to support nonprofit partners who are enhancing sustainability of affordable housing.

High Level Strategies:

  • Match private and nonprofit developers’ interests with local housing needs.

  • Work with local units of government to collectively clarify their vision for the types of affordable housing developments they desire for their communities and establish the regulatory environment that will allow those developments to happen.

  • Assist developers in accessing public and philanthropic resources to fill financial gaps that might otherwise prevent projects from moving forward.

  • Connect new developments with local nonprofit partners to ensure critical services and supports are available for future residents.


  • Cross-Sector: Business, Non-Profit, Education, Government are all affected by the lack of affordable housing and must all play a mutual role in coming up with innovative solutions.

  • Regional: There is a consensus that to effectively address the issue of affordable housing we must think regionally, and act locally.

  • Sustainable: The solutions must be sustainable for the community partners and for households benefiting from any one program or service. Sustainability can come from leveraging and blending varied funding types and by harnessing the existing infrastructure through collaboration to grow capacity.

  • Workforce Housing: The target populations for HN’s efforts are individuals and families that are fully employed, but earn a household wage that places them in, or at risk for falling into, the ALICE* category.

  • Mixed Income / Mixed Type Housing: HN promotes projects that allow a broad range of ALICE and up to 130% of ALICE Income levels to live in the same community.

  • Existing Housing: OHN supports efforts to decrease housing cost for the Ottawa County workforce living under the ALICE threshold by providing income supports and assistance to their current housing situation.

  • Scale: Housing Next will support projects at a larger scale than currently occurs in our workforce housing projects, and will support local agencies currently working on this issue to expand their capacity.

  • Layered funding: HN will support projects by better utilizing gap funding opportunities for developers to provide affordable housing and governmental programs that provide support to affordable housing.

Leadership Council:

  • Mike Goorhouse (Co-Chair), President of Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area

  • Holly Johnson (Co-Chair), President of Grand Haven Area Community Foundation

  • Patrick Cisler, Executive Director of Community SPOKE

  • Jane Clark, President of the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce

  • Joy Gaasch, President of the Chamber of Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg

  • Patrick Moran, President of United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties

  • Jennifer Owens, President of Lakeshore Advantage

  • Al Vanderberg, Ottawa County Administrator

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