Rhinelander Council Discusses Improved City Housing

Jul 30, 2020

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Rhinelander city government is taking a look at housing needs.

At this week's Common Council meeting, acting city administrator Zach Vruwink says the council needs to look at the scope of the issue, so outside funding can be looked at.

Alder Gerald Anderson said a main issue is affordability...

"People can't afford to rent here, though to many of us it looks like a relatively low priced real estate market. The rentals aren't that low..."

Carrie Mikalauski works at county social services and says she regularly sees aging houses in the community...

"They're run down, but the property management that typically owns these homes are charging upwards of $700 a month to rent. A lot our folks in this town can't afford that high of rent..."

City Inspection Administrator Terry Williams says the city could establish a stricter code, but that could backfire...

"I'm fearful a rental housing code could increase rent and make places even more unaffordable. Which is why, through enforcement, is clean up as much as we can..."

Vruwink asked the council to focus on a smaller scope of key issues so action could take place sooner. He says Rhinelander lacks a market assessment and that limits developers interest. He says there are a number of factors that need to be looked into, and setting priorities before moving forward.

Vruwink says it's likely the matter will be on a future agenda whether to pursue funding opportunities.