Ann Arbor House Party event to highlight local housing issues

ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor is throwing a “house party” and the entire community is invited.

A weeklong series of events called House Parties aims to raise awareness about the housing situation in Ann Arbor — where it’s getting more expensive and more expensive for many people — and the broader trends behind what’s happening.

Do Good Work, the nonprofit organization organizing the event, is led by Executive Director Lisa Soff, a city planning commissioner and local architect whose work includes the eight-story SouthTown development recently approved by the City Council.

“There are a lot of ideas and discussions about housing, and it seemed helpful to bring them together in a fun and accessible way for more community members to join in to learn and participate,” she said. “The overall planning process in Ann Arbor will also begin soon, so this seems like the perfect time to spark some early conversations that we might be able to share with them.”

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Activities planned for the House Inaugural Ball from Tuesday, September 12, through Sunday, September 17, include coffee and conversation with city staff, a Planning Commission work session, a community land trust “lunch and learn,” a University of Michigan student-led engagement session, and a discussion on the history of housing in Ann Arbor as it relates to race, a tour of the accessory housing units and more, including a closing party at HOMES Brewery.

The week of events is expected to address circumstances related to city resources, ADUs, planning policies, tenant rights, and more.

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It also includes the return of Park(ing) Day, which encourages everyone to imagine the possibilities of enabling parking spaces for people instead of cars, with existing curbside spaces in the city center transformed into parklets and community spaces on Friday 15 September.

A portion of Washington Street is closed for outdoor dining in downtown Ann Arbor on May 12, 2023. (Ryan Stanton | MLive.com)

All events are free and open to the public.

See the full schedule for Party Plans.

Interested participants can also schedule a 30-minute session to record their “Home Stories” to be archived in the Ann Arbor County Library’s permanent collection and shared with the city.

“Individual life experiences are essential to understanding our current time in the housing situation broadly and within our community,” the website states. “Whether it’s a chance meeting of a new roommate turned love of your life or the unfortunate circumstances of bad landlords, we want to hear all the stories about finding, living, creating, sharing, moving, surviving and everything else around us housing.”

Organizers hope that people sharing their own experiences will help find solutions to what they see as a housing crisis.

16 homes in Ann Arbor and their selling price in 2023

House Party sponsors include the Song Foundation, Synecdoche Design, Cahoots, StudioStudio, and ID Enterprises, with support from AADL, Ann Arbor AF Podcast, HOMES, and the Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Want more Ann Arbor area news? Reference Local Ann Arbor news page Or sign up for free”3@3 Ann Arbor“Daily Newsletter.

More Ann Arbor news:

“You got me on the intensity.” Ann Arbor approves 8-story SouthTown development

Ann Arbor approves $6.2 million deal to pave the way for affordable housing downtown

Do you want $528 in guaranteed monthly income? Ann Arbor Startup Program Accepts Applicants

A housing development on Ann Arbor’s west side is expected to rise 7 stories

What’s this on Packard Street in Ann Arbor? Upcoming “Urban Luxury Apartments”.

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