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Regional Group Looking At Need For Affordable Housing


A Northwoods group is researching affordable housing in the region.

Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Brittany Beyer says they're looking at the type of housing that a worker moving to the area could live in...

"...We're finding that we don't have enough rental units. We don't have quality first-time homeowner houses. Since the downturn in 2008 and 2009 construction hasn't returned to the Northwoods that helps our problem. So we're trying to figure out how we can collectively all work together to figure that out...."

Beyer says they're doing some research before they have a regional housing study done. She says they want to make sure they have the right information should developers come to the area. Beyer says they've been working with a UW-Madison researcher to look at the census data ...

"We need more rental units but there are more factors inside of that. Our next steps, that will be happening late winter early spring will be doing more boots-on-the ground conversations around the community..."

Beyer says a person shouldn't go over 35 percent of their monthly income to pay for housing, and she says many people are exceeding that figure.

She says Langlade, Vilas, Oneida and Marinette counties found almost a third of the people were in what is termed, 'housing fiscal stress'. She says the cost is high because there isn't enough rental units. She says another issue is providing good paying jobs to afford the housing. Beyer says they hope to begin thinking through a regional housing study later in the year.

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