In brief

State Land Bank joins others to learn more about affordable housing options

LANSING — The availability of affordable housing in Michigan is in short supply. Housing entities in both the public and private sector are working toward reducing this deficit and Michigan-based Champion Homes, a leader in the manufactured housing industry and one of the largest modular home builders in North America, is providing solutions.

Land banks and government officials from across the state recently traveled to Topeka, IN, to tour one of Champion’s modular manufacturing plants. During this tour, officials saw how modular and manufactured houses are built and discussed housing options available to state, county, local and non-profit entities.

Modular and manufactured housing are great alternatives to traditionally built homes and provide affordable options for Michigan’s urban and rural communities. In the Upper Peninsula, affordable housing is in high demand. Ensuring houses are built with quality and affordability in mind is vital.

Currently, housing is being built primarily for mid- to upper-income households. Modular housing is an option that can help bridge the gap and create affordable housing for low- to middleincome residents. — G.G.

Secretary of State offices to close for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

LANSING — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reminds residents that all Secretary of State offices and the Office of the Great Seal will be closed Jan. 20, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Most license plate types can be ordered or renewed online at

Registrations for vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles or boats may be printed when renewing online, allowing motorists to drive legally until they get their plate and tab in the mail. Most driver’s licenses and state ID cards also may be renewed online unless a trip to a branch office is required, as is the case to upgrade to a REAL ID license or state ID. Additionally, customers may order a duplicate registration or title, change their address and register to be an organ donor on the website.

The Department of State mails notices to motorists 45 days before their driver’s license or license plates expire to give them ample time to renew. Licenses and plates that expire on a day when state offices are closed, such as a holiday or weekend, can be renewed the following business day without penalty.

License plate tabs also can be renewed at self-service stations, many of which are available around the clock. Visit the Branch Office Locator to find a Secretary of State kiosk near you.

With the exception of holidays, offices are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Smaller offices may close for the lunch hour. On Wednesdays, offices are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A few branch offices offer Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to noon. Check the Branch Office Locator at for complete hours and services. — G.G.