Leaders from the Michigan Home Builders Association warned state officials Wednesday that a housing shortage is imminent if the system doesn’t change its approach to new construction.

Complex regulations, lack of housing investment and a shortage in trained workers are listed as three major factors that will contribute to the crisis.

“The challenges we face are pricing middle class citizens out of the housing market and squeezing revenues from housing growth that are needed to support our schools and local units of government across the state,” said L.R. Swadley, the HBAM president.

Economists say a state of Michigan’s size should produce about 30,000 new homes per year -- only 16,000 homes are expected to be built in 2017.

“Housing is right behind workforce as the state’s top economic development issue,” said Bob Filka, the HBA Michigan CEO. “We're going to lose our competitiveness in attracting new jobs if we don't have adequate housing options for our citizens.”

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