The County Board approved moving forward with a countywide housing study at its December board meeting after having tabled it to conduct a roundtable discussion with local realtors, bankers and developers. The objective of this study is to provide an understanding of existing housing developments, trends, shortages, and suggest recommendations for future development if needed. It is important to determine if there is enough housing available, and if not, what type of housing is needed to experience a healthy complete community.
KCEDC coordinated two roundtable discussions with representatives of the financial, realty, developer and County representatives, one in October and another in December.
The data from this study will be crucial in assisting our local communities in accessing potential grants and other funding resources to assist local developers in building affordable workforce housing.
Assembly Bill 544 (as amended by Assembly Substitute Amendment 1) is currently working its way through the State Assembly. This legislation would create a two-year, $10 million, workforce housing pilot program administered by the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). This program would encourage the creation of single-family and multi-family workforce housing in rural Wisconsin. Under the program, WHEDA will award grants, loans, loan guarantees or other forms of financial assistance to selected communities in rural counties. The legislative proposal (LRB-4317 includes a number of provisions to spur workforce housing development at the local level. A small group of members from the Door Kewaunee Legislative Committee is joining the Wisconsin Economic Development Alliance in Madison on Wednesday, January 15th to urge legislators to support this legislation.
We appreciate the input from those who attended the roundtable discussions. It reaffirmed a lot of the anecdotal information we were hearing and we look forward to seeing the results of the study and the recommendations for future development.