Michigan Rural Development Council (MRDC), established in 1984, is dedicated to furthering the development, finance, management, and rehabilitation of affordable, multi-family housing in Michigan’s rural communities.  MRDC is affiliated with the  Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (CARH), a national, non-profit trade organization.  For nearly 30 years, both organizations have served developers, owners, management companies, non-profits, accountants and other businesses involved with the affordable housing industry.

Recognizing that knowledge is key to success, MRDC annually hosts a day-long meeting for its members and other industry professionals plus a two-day training session to educate participants on industry procedures and regulations, and good business practices.

The annual meeting brings together developers, owners, management companies, non-profits, housing authorities, bankers, accountants, architects and other professionals to network and broaden their knowledge on a diverse array of timely topics including updates on:

    • Federal and state legislation
    • Housing agency rules
    • Issues impacting the rural housing industry

Panel discussions provide our members with the opportunity to dialogue with federal and state agencies impacting the industry, namely U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).



In rural areas, there continues to be an overwhelming need for both affordable and decent housing. The need for rental housing is even more acute. With lower median incomes and higher poverty rates than homeowners, many renters are simply unable to find decent housing that is also affordable. While the demand for rental housing in rural areas remains high, the supply, particularly of new rural housing, has decreased. This is in large part due to a reduction in federal housing assistance. Neither the private nor the public sector can produce affordable rural housing independent of the other. It has been and should be a partnership between the public and private sectors. 

Financing for affordable housing development comes from a variety of sources, both government and private, with multiple layers of financing in most projects. In a typical transaction, the developer leverages low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC), a conventional loan from a private mortgage lender or public agency, gap financing from a public or private source, and equity from the developer or private investor in exchange for tax credits. 

Without the federal LIHTC program, affordable rental housing projects do not generate sufficient profit to warrant investment. The highly competitive program gives investors a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal tax liability in annual allotments in exchange for providing financing to develop affordable rental housing. Investors’ equity contribution subsidizes low-income housing development. State housing agencies, like MSHDA, administer the program.