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Wisconsin Workforce Housing News

Nate Zurawski
Marketing and Communications[at]

Ken Harwood

This Weeks Articles for 5/3/2024 ...

  1. The Cheapest and Most Expensive Housing Markets in Wisconsin...
  2. Do Madison`s restrictive covenants trump zoning?...
  3. SMALL SCALE Brand new tiny home village on seven acres where rent is free and includes amenities – but you must fit the criteria...
  4. Single-family home construction is up in Milwaukee and Wisconsin, what that could mean for buyers...
  5. As a swing state, Wisconsin has outsized influence in the 2024 election. What you may not know is Wisconsin has been influencing national policy for...
  6. Green Bay affordable housing: 4 projects on track to welcome renters in 2024...
  7. Survey released to gauge student feelings on housing market...
  8. Downtown E.C. Site Eyed for Resource Center for Homeless...

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Community Updates, News Stories, Best Practices, Resources, and other data supporting the development of affordable housing for the citizens of Wisconsin in every city and region in the State. Please consider partnering with us and sharing your story

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The Cheapest and Most Expensive Housing Markets in Wisconsin

Home prices have surged in the U.S. in recent years. Driven by rising demand and supply constraints during the pandemic, the median home sale price spiked by nearly 50% from the second quarter of 2020 to Q3 in 2022. While the sale price of a typical American home has fallen in recent months since, housing prices remain at historic highs.

Not only have home values soared, but borrowing costs for home buyers have also climbed. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been above 6% since September 2022, a high not seen in nearly a decade and a half. In a market defined by high prices and high mortgage rates, homeownership has become prohibitively expensive for a large number of Americans.

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Ken Notes: Very interesting...

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Do Madison`s restrictive covenants trump zoning?

Highlands homeowners push back against Madison’s proposed West Area Plan

As first reported by the Cap Times, more than two-thirds of property owners in Madison’s Highlands neighborhood recently signed protective covenants to restrict how many homes can be built on their property and the minimum lot size. The unusual move, to counter zoning changes proposed in the city’s West Area Plan, raised questions even for City Attorney Mike Haas.

“When I read that article, I was curious myself about what governs if there’s a conflict between zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants,” says Haas.

Haas suggested this reporter talk with assistant city attorney Kate Smith, who handles zoning and planning issues. Smith says she also hasn’t seen the issue come up often in her work with the city: “Since I took over this practice area a few years ago, I haven’t had to deal with many restrictive covenant issues,” she says...

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Ken Notes: It is a one two punch that prevents affordable homes from being built.

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SMALL SCALE Brand new tiny home village on seven acres where rent is free and includes amenities – but you must fit the criteria

A NEW tiny home village in Wisconsin is offering free rent to qualifying individuals.

The project, meant to help veterans, is slated to open for residents next year.

Veterans Community Project is a charity creating tiny home villages for homeless veterans across the Midwest.

The group is now planning to open its newest location in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Its 40 tiny homes will be used as transitional housing for individuals and families.

It’s aiming to open its 7-acre campus in 2025, depending on its fundraising efforts, Milwaukee Business Journal reported.
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Single-family home construction is up in Milwaukee and Wisconsin, what that could mean for buyers

Home construction in Wisconsin is surging this year, after years of sluggish growth.

Construction began on about 3,700 new single-family homes across Wisconsin this quarter, local building permit records show.

That`s a 36% increase year over year, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin Builders Association.

It`s a welcome development for first-time homebuyers, who are struggling to get a foothold in Wisconsin`s competitive home market.

Here`s what you need to know:...

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As a swing state, Wisconsin has outsized influence in the 2024 election. What you may not know is Wisconsin has been influencing national policy for

Wisconsin has been influencing national policy for more than 100 years. In this podcast, we’ll explore the history of Wisconsin politics, what politics looks like in the state today, and what that means for our future...

...Among the marchers was Vel Phillips, the first Black alderperson and the first woman alderperson in Milwaukee. She kept the pressure on the otherwise all white, all male Common Council to pass legislation to outlaw racial discrimination in housing.

"Nobody is free until everybody is free, and we intend to march, all of us, until we get just some of the basic freedoms that are ours," Phillips said.

Phillips first proposed a fair housing bill in Milwaukee in 1962 — she was the only vote in support. Three years later, Wisconsin would sign its own, watered-down version of a fair housing bill, that excluded the majority of the housing stock in Milwaukee. In 1968 the federal Fair Housing Act was passed in Congress, which mirrored Phillips’ initial proposal.

A newscast from that time: "The Civil Rights Act of 1968 included in the measure was a landmark open housing bill, which, when fully effective, would forbid discrimination in approximately 80% of all housing offered for rent or for sale in the United States.

"Fair housing for all, all human beings who live in this country, is now a part of the American way of life," President Lyndon B. Johnson said.

But while President Johnson and the Milwaukee marchers hailed the Fair Housing Act for the victory it was, economic forces would soon undermine its lasting material impact....

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Wisconsin Workforce Housing Resources


Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

WISCAP Affordable Housing Network

Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources

Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp

WEDA Legislative Tracker

NRA Housing Needs By State / Wisconsin

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Nate Notes: to be included as a Workforce Housing resource email us a link and a brief note to:

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Green Bay affordable housing: 4 projects on track to welcome renters in 2024

GREEN BAY - Shirley Kopatz was more than happy to offer an enthusiastic "woo-ha!" or two for affordable housing developments in her neighborhood.

From her South Roosevelt Street residence, Kopatz has watched City East Center rise three stories high on a long-vacant patch of East Walnut Street, two blocks from Green Bay East High School. MF Housing Partners, a partnership between Mosaic Property Ventures and FORE Development + Investment Group, broke ground on the combination affordable housing and new home for the Brown County United Way last spring and Kopitz said the community needs more affordable housing of this sort...

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Ken Notes: We need housing that can be purchased by those earning a basic living so that they can build equity...

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Survey released to gauge student feelings on housing market

City of Madison, UW partner for survey development, analysis of resul

The “Student Housing Market Housing Survey” was sent out to all University of Wisconsin students via email April 25. Questions within the survey pertain to students’ current housing accommodations, future housing plans, pricing related to future housing and other problems students may face.

To formulate this survey, the City of Madison and UW funded the hiring of a consultant who provided insight on how to format questions and overall running of the survey...
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Downtown E.C. Site Eyed for Resource Center for Homeless

nonprofits, city considering $6M project for daytime facility on Farwell Street

A community resource center to meet the needs of Eau Claire’s growing homeless population could be built in downtown Eau Claire if a recently announced public-private partnership – and a $6 million fundraising campaign – reach fruition.

In addition to funding, however, the effort will have to clear bureaucratic hurdles, and is being proposed amid growing concerns about homelessness in the neighborhood from some downtown business owners and residents...

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About Wisconsin Workforce Housing News (

Across Wisconsin many employees can simply not afford to live where they work.

This is true in big cities and small rural communities. Both the availability and price of housing is not in line with the needs of those working in jobs that are vital to the success of our communities. Imagine a firefighter, teacher, city employee, service, or retail worker not able to afford a home in the community they serve.

We aggregate news and highlight programs that are working to provide affordable workforce housing in Wisconsin. We advocate for state and local policies that improve the more affordable housing markets. We encourage developers to build new homes that are affordable for those working for Wisconsin while still making a fair profit on the work they do. We encourage communities and neighborhoods to become partners in meeting these needs. We highlight what others have done as a form of "Best Practices" in the State and Country. Finally, we provide direct links to resources and programs in the State.

We believe Wisconsin employers will support these efforts so they can successfully recruit workers to fill the thousands of job openings now hampered by a shortage of affordable housing.

Safe, affordable housing makes a difference in the lives of children and families impacting both education and health. We are supporting affordable housing because it is good for business, good for families, good for communities, and good for Wisconsin.

Nate Zurawski
Marketing and Communications Director
Wisconsin Workforce Housing News

Eric Giordano
Executive Director
Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service

Ken Harwood
Editor / Publisher
Advocating for Wisconsin

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List of Housing Resources

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WWHNEWS Notes: To add a resource or correct above send data and link to[at]

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