MADISON – Today, State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) joined a group of his Republican colleagues to unveil concrete steps towards addressing Wisconsin’s growing housing shortage. The lawmakers held a press conference to discuss the impacts of the shortage and unveil a series of bills aimed at providing more housing options for workers.
“As I talk with neighbors and local business leaders in our community, it has been painfully clear that a lack of available housing units has made our state an unattractive destination for both workers and businesses alike,” Steineke said. “The proposals put forth today will help support meaningful change both in northeast Wisconsin and across our state.”
According to a 2019 report titled Falling Behind: Addressing Wisconsin’s Workforce Housing Shortage, communities across Wisconsin are facing severe housing shortages. Areas with growing populations, like those in the Northeastern part of the state, are being hit especially hard, with many reporting major scarcity and affordability problems.
“Wisconsin’s housing shortage is being compounded by a variety of factors – including an inability to keep up with demand, rising construction costs and increasing rents,” concluded Michael Sewell, a member of the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group of Northeastern Wisconsin. “We need to consider strategies and adopt policies to make housing a priority now and into the future.”
Included in the package of bills introduced are reforms to cut bureaucratic red tape and other burdensome regulations, reform outdated industry practices, and equip families with greater resources to build, restore and renovate their homes. There was also a renewed call to create more housing tax credits through existing legislation.