Accelerating Affordable Workforce Housing in Dane County
A word from Paul Kundert, President & CEO
We are Madison’s hometown credit union and even as we’ve grown, our concern for the well-being of our hometown has never left us. We know financial security and access to good, affordable housing is fundamental for well-being, and we’re working to help our members achieve these goals. That’s why we’re excited to join other Madison-based companies in making a combined $11.85 million investment in the Dane Workforce Housing Fund.
This is an important step. About 1 in 4 of Dane County’s renter households struggle to afford housing. Work force housing is essential, and housing affordability is a growing problem during the current economic and health crisis as more people face unemployment, furloughs, and cutbacks in hours. The new units created with the help of this funding will target households whose incomes fall between 40 to 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
The supply of affordable housing is necessary to grow the economy. It enables local businesses to retain and recruit working adults who otherwise cannot afford to live in Dane County. This includes teachers, nurses, government employees, medical records specialists, lab assistants, hairdressers, retail clerks, food and hospitality workers, and many others who provide crucial services to the community.
Today, the United Way and the Economic Stability Council (ESC) shared more about how support from local businesses, including UW Credit Union's $1 million investment, will immediately go to work via its first project, the Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corporation’s 39-unit building in Middleton, WI. Over the next three years, ESC's goal is to create 500 new, affordable workforce housing units in Dane County with a longer-term commitment to keeping these units affordable.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches in a difficult season of our lives, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the unexpected changes and new challenges. Projects like this one are a positive reminder that progress is possible, even now, and especially when people come together.
If you would like to support this initiative, please consider donating to United Way of Dane County.