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Lansing city council accused of discrimination in affordable housing decision

Apr 11, 2016

The issue of tax credits for affordable housing is expected to come up again at Monday night’s Lansing city council meeting.

Lansing's Old Town section
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city council recently rejected a request for special tax credits for a low-income development in Lansing’s Old Town section.

Julie Powers is with the Greater Lansing Housing Authority. She claims several city council members worried about who the 24-unit development would attract.

“What we were told at the committee of the whole meeting was that “those people” aren’t wanted in Old Town,” says Powers.

The city council president insists the decision on the tax credits was made "deliberately and thoughtfully."   She suggests the controversy is being driven by Lansing’s mayor, to distract from questions being raised about the departure of the city attorney. 

The developer plans to move ahead with the project without the city council’s approval. 

Meanwhile, housing advocates say they’ll file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.