City of Madison housing initiatives plan to create affordable housing, end homelessness

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 4:07 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway unveiled a package of initiatives Wednesday aimed at addressing the housing needs of the city.

According to the mayor’s office, the Housing Forward Package includes topics of increasing housing choice, creating more affordable housing and ensuring seniors and other residents can stay in their homes. The mayor also states the need to stop displacement and housing segregation, as well as effort ways to end homelessness.

“Madison is an attractive city for people to move to, and we need it remain inviting and accessible to our long-term residents as growth occurs,” said Rhodes-Conway. “We need to push as hard as we can on affordable housing while dramatically increasing the amount of housing being built and helping people stay in the neighborhoods they have always called home.”

The City noted that if recent trends in housing continue the way they are now, Madison could have 70,000 new residents and 40,000 additional households by 2040.

Here are the goals as outlined in the City’s plan (with wording from the mayor’s office):

  • Catalyze the development of new affordable housing through City funding sources, and by buying land and making it available for affordable housing.
  • Invest in homeownership opportunities for people of color with non-profit partners.
  • Ensure a variety of housing types and price points in neighborhoods to help Madisonians remain in their neighborhoods, even as their housing needs change.
  • Amend zoning and permit processes to make it easier for the private sector to build more housing to help supply keep up with demand and ease the pressure on housing prices. We need 10,000 new homes every five years to keep up with projected demand.
  • Help prevent evictions and expand loan programs that help seniors and others stay in their homes.
  • Develop full-service purpose-built shelter facilities for women and children and single men that help move people into stable housing.

Rhodes-Conway also added that the City does face limits to what they can do, as state law prohibits the city from pursuing rent control, rental inspection and from requiring affordable units in new developments.

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