WUPPDR Rural Readiness Grant

October 6, 2023

WUPPDR Awarded Rural Readiness Grant for L’Anse Housing Initiative

HANCOCK – The Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) has
been awarded a Rural Readiness Grant from the Office of Rural Development, Michigan
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The $50,000 grant will be used to establish and activate a nonprofit community development
corporation (CDC) in the L’Anse, Mich. area, and to work with L’Anse Township and the
Village of L’Anse to prepare a township-owned tract of land for housing development. Of more
than 90 applicants, WUPPDR is one of 21 recipients in the State of Michigan for round 1 of the
Rural Readiness program, including three in the Upper Peninsula.

A CDC can conduct a wide variety of community development activities, but the initial focus of
the L’Anse Area CDC will be housing. Years of feedback from Baraga County stakeholders
have indicated a severe shortage of attainable high-quality housing in the area, limiting
employment and business expansion opportunities. A CDC can foster development by
coordinating the “packaging” of parcels, financing sources, and other prerequisites for housing
development, ultimately leading to physical development of sites by either nonprofit or for-profit

WUPPDR’s lead local partner organization in the grant project is the Baraga County Chamber of
Commerce, which has committed in-kind personnel and financial support. Other key partners,
many of which are also generously providing financial support, include: L’Anse Township and
Village, Baraga County Board of Commissioners and Economic Development Corporation,

Baraga County Memorial Hospital, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Superior National Bank,
Invest UP, and William Menge. WUPPDR looks forward to a strong, productive collaboration
with these and other future partners.

For more information, please contact Jerry Wuorenmaa, Executive Director, at
jwuorenmaa@wuppdr.org or (906) 482-7205 ext. 111.