At the May 5th 2022 Board meeting, Commissioner Boettcher reported that Meadowbrook was experiencing extreme staffing shortage. Meadowbrook had to reduce resident capacity by 40 due to staffing issues. YIKES!
The staffing issue is rooted in the same problem that many other businesses across the region are experiencing – housing. If people cannot afford housing costs at the wage a business is giving, then they won’t take a job.
Housing costs are obscene in Antrim County. Overall, real estate sale prices are up 17% since 2021. The median price for a simple, two bedroom home in Antrim County is $193,000. So, a worker at Meadowbrook or some other business would only need about $1K per month just to pay for a mortgage. Good luck!
No problem. Just rent, right. Wait: there are NO rentals available. You can tell an employee to go find an affordable rental and they might return with a unicorn first.
So, business owners are rightly concerned with the housing issue.
Guess who is NOT concerned with the housing issue: The Antrim County Board of Commissioners.
Last April, the Board of Commissioners took a bold and brave stand on housing. They decided that housing was none of their business.
Commissioners are apparently unaware of what they could possibly do about housing problems. The discussion about Meadowbrook featured more hand-wringing about the role of Big Government than common sense solutions to the problem.
So, a bunch of drunk pirates will offer ideas:
- Form a committee to advise on options to improve housing.
- Direct staff to develop a table of ideas that the Board could pursue.
- Partner with non-profits that are actively working on this problem. Like Housing North
- Research federal and state grants
- Partner with organizations to purchase and renovate blight or abandoned buildings
Just pretend. Pretend that you are actually considering doing something helpful.
Nope. The Board has so far decided to do the following: nothing.