Affordable Housing Package Introduced

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Affordable Housing Package Introduced

May 14, 2023 - 06:55
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Republicans are taking action to lower the cost of housing for Wisconsinites. A package of bills introduced this week, includes legislation that creates loan programs to build infrastructure for housing developments, convert vacant commercial buildings into homes, rehabilitate housing above commercial businesses, expand existing home rehabilitation programs, and limit the ways local governments can step in to stop new housing developments.

According to the Wisconsin Housing Economic Development Authority, "affordable housing" is defined as housing costing no more than 30% of gross income on living costs, including utilities. Wisconsin is facing a housing crisis, it's a problem affecting urban, suburban and rural parts of the state alike.

Since the pandemic, home prices have soared as buyers compete for a limited supply of homes. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently wrote an article on how construction and home ownership has slowed.

This is not a partisan issue. At least one Democrat has already signed on and hopefully more will be proud to vote for this package when it comes to the floor.

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When the government starts getting into housing, they usually cause problems. First, they offer incentives that work against the private sector, like TIFs. The private sector needs to pay a fortune in taxes, while the government programs don't have to. This stifles incentive in private enterprise, as it makes it harder to compete.
The biggest problem is extensive regulations, zoning, and fees. Also, there must be skin in the game for the new homeowners, if they don't have to sacrifice, to achieve their new house, they often don't appreciate it, leading to a failed housing situation.

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