Construction starts on Middleton workforce housing units
MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - A groundbreaking ceremony for a new apartment complex took place in Middleton Wednesday morning, with a goal to offer more housing for members of Wisconsin’s workforce.
The 52-unit Mill Apartments are under construction at 6908 Century Avenue. The Madison Development Corporation (MDC), a non-profit, is heading up the project. The units will be available for working families and individuals.
“We are able to keep our units actually affordable for the long-term. We manage them and we own them, which is a very different model,” explained Lorrie Heinemann, the President & CEO of Madison Development Corporation.
Heinemann went on to explain that MDC owns and operates 352 units of workforce housing in Dane County, with a less than 1% vacancy ratio. This is achievable, Heinemann explained, because they use a universal design model championed by UW Madison Professor James A. Graaskamp.
“The Mill Apartments will also be universally designed with roll-in showers and accessible features in all our first-floor units, and visitable by all. So, you can roll into the door. You can hop into the elevator. You can get to your car. It’s going to be very friendly for people with mobility challenges,” said Heinemann.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld with the Wisconsin Department of Administration presented a $3 million dollar Community Development Block Grant check to help build the housing project.
“As you may have noticed there’s a lot of focus in the budget that was recently placed on workforce issues. One of the things that communities have identified in all 72 counties is that affordable workforce housing is a barrier to helping communities really thrive. That’s why this project is so needed,” said Secretary Blumenfeld.
City of Middleton Mayor Emily Kuhn said this project has been a collaborative effort between MDC and the city to bring more workforce housing to Middleton. “These 52 units are well-placed. They’re on a transit corridor. They’re next to a grocery store. They’re in a great school system,” said Mayor Kuhn.
Construction should wrap up by the fall of 2024 and applications for renters should open a few months prior, according to Heinemann.
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