State Committee to Consider Mandatory Fire Sprinklers in New-Construction Michigan Homes

Mackinac Center video examines impact on affordable housing for low-income families

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Contact: Michael D. Jahr
Director of Communications

MIDLAND — When the Michigan Building Code Review Committee considers tomorrow whether to make the installation of fire sprinklers in one- and two-family homes and townhouses mandatory for all new construction in Michigan, they should consider the unintended consequences examined in a new video, said Mackinac Center Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra.

“Quite often, safety mandates are made without a cost-benefit analysis,” said Hoekstra. “But in fact this mandate could raise the cost of building new homes — and this makes Habitat for Humanity, for instance, worried about the ability to provide affordable housing for low-income families.”

In the video, Hoekstra interviews Ken Bensen, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan president and CEO; Ron Brown, regional manager with the National Fire Sprinkler Association; and Lee Schwartz, vice president for government relations for the Michigan Association of Home Builders.

See the brief video segment at

The committee hearing takes place at 9 a.m. at the Library of Michigan in Lansing.