MADISON, WI – Today State Rep. Dave Armstrong (R-Rice Lake) joined other Assembly Republican colleagues to unveil a package of legislative proposals that address an important issue confronting many Wisconsin families, businesses, and communities – a shortage of affordable housing.
“As executive director of the Barron County Economic Development Corporation, workforce housing is one of the biggest challenges to connecting workers to good-paying, family-supporting jobs,” Representative Armstrong said. “In Barron County alone, hundreds of jobs are going unfilled, in large part because we simply don’t have an adequate stock of housing units within the average family’s price range. This not only hurts local employers, but it has ripple effects in the larger community, including our schools. This isn’t just a Barron County problem – counties of all sizes in all parts of the state are experiencing similar housing crunches.”
A 2019 report, Falling Behind: Addressing Wisconsin’s Workforce Housing Shortage, highlights a number of issues Wisconsin faces. The legislative package unveiled today builds on many of the report’s suggested reforms, including reforming onerous and costly government regulations and industry practices and providing families for additional resources for building or improving their homes.
“As part of the Fixing Foundations package, I am introducing a proposal – LRB 4459 – that will allow municipalities to establish local housing investment funds (LHIFs),” Representative Armstrong said. “LHIFs use revenues from property taxes attributable to new or improved residential properties designated by the municipality. Municipalities would then be able to use these funds in a number of ways to further increase the supply of workforce housing.”