By Seth Kinker,

The Chelsea Housing Research Advisory Committee (HRAC) met May 11 and continued to discuss current living situations within Chelsea and what the community needs.

They continued discussing what living situations were currently available for seniors, they looked at everything ranging from what the costs were to what amenities they provided.

Councilman Rick Catherman, also on the HRAC, asked if senior living was lacking in Chelsea, the committee agreed that housing for everyone is something that could be considered lacking.


City Council Peter Feeney told the HRAC that he had reached out to supervisors of nearby townships and told them of the commissions formation and purpose, letting them know that this was a collaborative effort and that they would be more than happy to come to the surrounding townships to explain their purpose and work together.

The HRAC wasn’t able to get definitive data regarding local township and city demographics but were able to gain insight from Terris Ahrens, a sales associate with Reinhart Realtors and Real Estate Professional on the HRAC, on who was coming to Chelsea and what kind of living arrangements they were looking for.

Some places had a wait list while others did not, but some moving into the area were more prone to sit on a waitlist for a more appealing area to live compared to another area in Chelsea that had no wait time, but not as many connections to the downtown area.

Another topic discussed at the meeting was what Chelsea is missing.

Chair Vincent Elie brought up looking at the development of staggered or mixed living areas in Chelsea, saying that it would make it more attractive to those considering a move to Chelsea.

The HRAC discussed the pros and cons of the mixed living areas while talking about the tools needed to find out what the community wants.

Adam Elison, the planning commissioner member on the HRAC, said the planning commission’s draft master plan had a considerable number of studies completed. He said that one of the things that stood out to him was that with residential housing, 36% were single family homes, only 1% were multi-family residents, a number he said surprised him.

Elison also talked about what a final report to council would need to look like. He emphasized that that final report would tell them if they needed to survey the community and how to best do so.

Feeney stressed that as the first HRAC that everything wouldn’t be perfect, and that was okay.

The HRAC planned to invite an urban planner to the next meeting to take stock of what they had discussed as well as give them some ideas of what else they can do for their final report to council.


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