DANE COUNTY AFFORDABLE HOUSING FUND A SMASHING SUCCESS
November 21, 2018
Sharon Corrigan, County Board Chair 608.333.2285
Board approves $6 million more for the Fund in 2019
More area residents will be enjoying the holiday season in a comfortable new apartment thanks in part to Dane County’s Affordable Housing Development Fund.
Established in 2015, the Fund has provided over $8.6 million in assistance to private sector real estate developers to keep monthly rents low for working families, the disabled, veterans, single parents and others struggling to make ends meet.
To date it has helped support 1,020 proposed units of affordable housing spread throughout the area, with 913 of those units aimed at individuals meeting County median income standards. Some 200 units are now completed and occupied.
“By all accounts the Fund has been a rousing success and I’m pleased to see so much progress in getting such a variety of outstanding projects in the pipeline,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan (District 26, Middleton).
But Corrigan noted there is a growing need for even more affordable housing in Dane County, which is the fastest growing county by population in Wisconsin. About 66,000 households here are paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent, which meets the definition of being “cost burdened” in terms of housing.
To help close that gap, the County Board added $3 million more to the Affordable Housing Development Fund in the 2019 budget, bringing the total available for next year to $6 million.
“We can’t do it all on our own, but I know this board is committed to doing everything it can to address what can only be called an affordable housing crisis in Dane County,” said Corrigan.
A recent report found Dane County has a severe affordable housing gap, with thousands of residents holding steady jobs or seniors living on fixed incomes paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent: https://communityoutreach.countyofdane.com/documents/housing/dane_county_housing_gap_fact_sheet.pdf . The report also found that 33 percent of renters here were unable to afford a two-bedroom apartment at market rates.
The County provided $3.1 million for seven affordable housing projects in 2018 but developers requested over twice that amount in assistance, which forced officials to make some difficult decisions about which projects to support.
“The need is certainly there and our partners in the private sector have been wonderful to work with,” said Supervisor Hayley Young (District 5, downtown Madison) who serves on the Dane County Housing Authority. “The additional monies we added to the Fund for 2019 should help meet more of the demand.”
Projects approved in 2018 include:
· $300,000 to Gorman & Company to partially fund 55 units on Main Street in Sun Prairie. Section Eight tenants, veterans and moderate- to low-income persons will be targeted.
$403,200 to Stone House Development to partially fund an 80-unit building at 134 S. Fair Oaks Ave. in Madison. Moderate to low-income veterans are the target market.
· $1,043,963 to support the “Valor” development from Gorman & Company on county-owned property on East Washington Avenue which had once been eyed for a homeless day center. The 59-unit development includes space for Dryhootch, a veteran’s service agency.
· $591,346 to MSP to partially fund a 112-unit development on Cottage Grove Road in Madison. Ninety-five of the units will be targeted to lower-income residents.
· $403,513 to Common Bond to partially fund a 54-unit building on Tree Lane in Madison. The project is targeted toward seniors and vets.
· $34,352 to the partnership of Mirus & Movin’ Out to partially fund a 70–unit development on Acewood Boulevard in Madison. The target market will be vets and developmentally disabled persons.
· $397,134 to J.T. Klein to partially fund a 73-unit building on Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg. The project is aimed at persons 55 and older with 15 units reserved for vets or those with permanent disabilities.
Additional information about Dane County’s housing initiatives can be found at: https://communityoutreach.countyofdane.com/housinginitiative