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Mayor Bliss delivers annual State of the City address

Posted at 9:54 AM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 10:38:20-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The State of the Union wasn't the only address given Tuesday night — Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss also gave her annual State of the City address.

Mayor Bliss addressed the city by acknowledging the good things that have happened in Grand Rapids and also touched on plans for the future.

Her address was broken down into five categories, including public safety, housing, economic opportunity, sustainability and climate, and investing in place.

She says two years into the pandemic, getting back to normal is not good enough.

She pledged the city will stay true to its commitment to ramping up work in areas like public safety, sustainability and economic opportunity.

Another big takeaway, Bliss estimates the city's population will grow by 4 percent over the next few years.

Because of this projected growth, creating more affordable housing is a top priority.

RELATED: New fund aims to help affordable housing need in Grand Rapids

"A 4% growth rate means that we need to build not dozens, not hundreds of more homes; we need to build thousands of more homes as quickly as possible," said Mayor Bliss. "We need more homes at all price points throughout our community to accommodate both the diversity of the people already living here as well as the people moving here."

Affordable housing is something city leaders say they're actively working on by partnering with private and nonprofit partners.

"In 2021, more than 700 new homes came on the market in our city," said Mayor Bliss. "About half of those some 350 were affordably priced to accommodate families with modest incomes. Even more encouraging, we're currently tracking an additional 700 new affordable housing units in the development pipeline. And many of these units will be online and available in 2023."

Mayor Bliss also touched on sustainability and climate, announcing a first-of-its-kind program for the city: a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.

The plan will address the disparities communities of color face in the climate crisis.

Watch Mayor Bliss's entire speech here:

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