Dane County Executive Parisi Announces Affordable Housing Development Fund Awarded to Four Proposals
October 22, 2015
Stephanie Miller, 608-267-8823
Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the Affordable Housing Development Fund will be awarded to four proposals, pending County Board approval. The $2 million Affordable Housing Development fund establishes a source of funding to assist in the creation of affordable housing in Dane County.
“My goal as County Executive is to ensure all of our citizens have access to all that Dane County has to offer -- including affordable housing” said Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive. “The Affordable Housing Development Fund is another important step we are taking to find solutions to our current housing challenges.”
$500,000 is being awarded to Nehemiah Community Development Corporation for use in expanding their network of transitional housing for persons released from custody from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. The money will be used to purchase two multiunit buildings. The overwhelming majority of ex-offenders returning to Dane County are youth and African-American. Well-documented racial disparities in our community place these ex-offenders at a high risk for reentry failure, recidivism and homelessness.
The County will also award nearly $1.5 million to three projects for affordable rental housing.
The County will award $500,000 to Housing Initiatives, Inc. to purchase affordable rental housing targeted towards homeless veterans, the chronically homeless, and persons with mental illness. Housing Initiatives has been active for over 20 years. The organization owns and operates 98 rental units across the City of Madison.
An award of $554,000 will be made to Gorman & Company to support its affordable housing project at the Union Corners development at Milwaukee Street and East Washington. This project includes a total of 90 units, 76 of which will be set aside for persons with incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the County’s median income. Gorman has partnered with Lutheran Social Services to provide supportive services to low income residents.
The third award will be made to Movin’ Out, Inc. for its Madison on Broadway project. Movin’ Out will combine the County’s $384,000 award with low-income tax credits and other financing sources to develop 48 income restricted housing units on the 2200 block of West Broadway and at 197 Lake Point Drive. Movin’ Out targets its units to persons with physical disabilities and veterans.
“Affordable housing continues to be a challenge due to the successful Dane County economy,” said County Executive Parisi. “We must continue to meet the needs of our most vulnerable by increasing employment opportunities, creating more affordable housing, and helping people stay in their homes.”
The purpose of the fund, created in the 2015 budget, is to encourage the development of affordable housing in Dane County by using money from the fund to leverage additional funds. The budget also assigned responsibility for the administration of the fund to a staff team led by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development in the County Executive’s Office. The staff team held public hearings and had several conversations to gather input as to the content of the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that would be issued to identify projects that would be funded, as well as how the RFPs should be structured.
“Access to housing remains one of the most pressing issues facing this community,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “This fund, created as part of the 2015 County Budget, allows the County to partner with the community and seize opportunities to increase affordable housing. I am pleased to see the quality of the projects that were selected for the inaugural year of the fund.”
In his proposed 2016 budget submitted to the Dane County Board on October 1, 2016, County Executive Parisi continues his commitment to creating affordable housing by allocating $500,000 for reentry housing and $750,000 for additional partnerships to address housing for chronically homeless. Parisi is also doubling funding for the very successful “Eviction Prevention Fund” he created in his previous budget.
This is just another step towards addressing our homeless and housing problem in Dane County. This summer, County Executive Parisi attended the first ever Dane County Housing Summit. The summit provided Dane County municipal leaders, policy makers and residents an opportunity to learn about the county’s current housing needs, who is most affected by the housing gap, the impacts, and potential solutions. The packed room and diverse representation of attendees demonstrates that there is a county-wide interest in solving our affordable housing gap. After a three hour educational summit, attendees stayed later to mingle with presenters and learn more about the data presented and potential solutions. This summit was a successful first step towards more strategic, regional collaboration to address our affordable housing crisis.