April 8, 2021
by Oscar Rennebohm Foundation
In May 2021, construction will begin for a new, affordable workforce apartment complex in Middleton. Another complex is slated to be completed in 2022 in Fitchburg, and another has been proposed in Waunakee.
This is the first project to receive funding from a Madison-area affordable housing initiative spurred by the Economic Stability Council, composed of representatives from businesses, organizations, and local governments, including the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation.
Several years ago, United Way’s Dane County arm created a task force to come up with new initiatives to combat poverty, arriving on the issue of affordable housing near work after they found this was the top economic stability issue for people in Dane County.
Following this realization, the Dane County Workforce Housing Fund was developed by the Madison Development Corporation, and local employers were invited to contribute. The ultimate goal is to raise enough money to provide 500 units of affordable workforce housing. These units will target those making 40–80% of the average median income.
“That’s what Middleton and Madison and much of the United States is talking about, where you have a missing middle,” says Lorrie Heinemann, president of the Madison Development Corporation.
Developers who receive loans from the housing fund will have to enter a land use restriction agreement that will require them to keep units affordable for 15 years.