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Wisconsin governor signs affordable housing bills, Republicans approve funding

Wisconsin capitol dome
Steve Gadomski
Adobe Stock
Wisconsin Capitol dome

A package of bipartisan measures bolstering affordable housing in Wisconsin has received final approval from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, while Republicans have signed off on more than half a billion dollars to pay for the effort.

Evers signed five bills into law Thursday establishing loan programs for builders and landlords and making it easier for developers to get permits for new residences. One of the measures sets limits on who can challenge permitting decisions and requires that local governments approve permits for residential housing projects that don't violate local standards.

Meanwhile, Republicans who control the Legislature's budget-writing committee set aside $525 million on Thursday to fund the new loans, which are targeted to projects that improve aging units, expand infrastructure such as roads and utilities to serve affordable housing, or convert vacant commercial buildings into affordable housing.

“Access to safe, reliable, and affordable housing statewide is an absolutely critical part of addressing Wisconsin’s long-standing workforce challenges,” Evers said in a statement.

The Legislature is expected to pass the state budget, which includes funding for the housing projects, next week.

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