A bipartisan group of state lawmakers recently introduced a package of bills aimed at addressing Wisconsin’s affordable housing crisis. Supporters of the legislation say the bills will target high construction costs through low- to zero-interest loans for certain housing projects, as well as make it easier for local governments to approve housing developments.
The package contains several pieces of legislation that aim to ease construction costs for developers, and renovation costs for homeowners.
The bills would establish revolving loan funds for workforce and senior housing, Main Street housing rehabilitation and turning vacant commercial buildings into new residential developments. Another bill would establish a low- to no-interest loan program for residents making improvements to homes built before 1980. All of those programs would be administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
One of the bills aims to make it harder for residents to block new housing as long as a proposed development meets existing zoning requirements. Under the bill, a municipal government must approve a residential housing development if it meets local zoning requirements.