Study Shows Lack Of Affordable Housing Hurting Economy: Realtors

Sep 10, 2019

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The Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) has released a study showing a severe workforce housing shortage and highlights the need for legislative action to address this growing concern.

From a high of more than 30,000 single-family home permits authorized in 2004 to less than 12,500 permits authorized in 2017, the realtors say Wisconsin is on the cusp of not being able to adequately provide housing for today's growing workforce needs.

Tom Larson is vice-president of legal and public affairs. He says there are a variety of causes...

"...Everything from the reduction in new homes and new lots. We have an increase in construction costs that have risen 16-20 percent over the last 10-20 years. Local regulatory barriers also have a big impact on the overall cost of housing...."

Larson says tariffs with other countries affect the cost of construction materials. He says college debt has also been a major factor in young families not buying homes.

Workforce housing is defined as the supply of housing in a community that meets the needs of the workforce in that community says Larson...

"...We need more entry-level first time homes for young families and workers to purchase. We need more multi-family housing in many of the real estate markets. I think supply is the key and the solution is a bit more challenging...."

Larson says they would like to see local governments cut the cost of permitting by reducing the amount of local regulations. He says if workers can't find housing, employers have a hard time filling jobs.

More information is on the Wisconsin Realtors Association website.