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Legislative Day – 2023

Posted on September 5, 2023

Legislative Day 2023:

Fox Cities Habitat joined several state legislators at the future home of Habitat homebuyer, Dawn Buelow. Together, we discussed the challenges hard working local families face in finding decent and affordable homes and how we can work together to be a part of the solution.

Not only is the Fox Cities growing, but so is the need for workforce talent. One of the main challenges the community is facing is the lack of affordable homes for these workers to live. This affordable housing shortage is not only a state issue, but a national one. Recently we have been seeing homeownership barriers in a variety of areas. According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, sale prices have nearly doubled since 2012 from a median of $135,000 to $260,000, making the dream of homeownership unattainable for so many families. In the past year alone, monthly mortgage payments for a median priced home have risen more than $600.

Habitat for Humanity Affiliates across Wisconsin have been collaborating with state legislators to break down these barriers. Together, we are encouraging the development of a program that provides gap financing for first-time homebuyers with incomes up to 120% of the area median income (AMI). The intent of this loan is to provide additional financing to empower hopeful homeowners to purchase a home. This gap financing, if approved as designed, would offer a 0% interest loan with repayment after a few years. This allows families to get into an affordable home where they can have a sense of security while they start to build equity and wealth. It would also be a perpetually self-funded financing tool that is refilled by homeowners paying back their loans.

John Weyenberg, Fox Cities Habitat CEO states, “Homeownership is almost unattainable for many working families in our community. Habitat for Humanity steps in and tries to fill that gap providing homeownership opportunities for families with limited income; hardworking families in our community who are filling that workforce shortage.”

Collaboration Needed

“If we want more homeowners, we must work together. Builders, developers, realtors, yes, politicians, the city, the state and organizations like Habitat for Humanity to make it affordable and accessible.”

— Representative Lee Snodgrass

When lawmakers from across the political spectrum unite in this endeavor, they send a powerful message that the wellbeing of our communities transcends political lines. Ultimately, bi-partisan support for affordable housing is an investment in the future of families in our country for years to come. Together, we can create thriving communities, help families achieve their dreams, and make the Fox Cities an even greater place to live.

Thank you to Senator Rachael Cabral-Guevara, Representative Joy Goeben, Representative Nate Gustafson, Representative Peter Schmidt, Representative Lee Snodgrass, and Representative Ron Tusler for coming together to discuss affordable homeownership opportunities and needed solutions (and for helping us raise a wall)!

“This is a bi-partisan issue. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you sit on. It’s about us all working together for each individual and each child in this community to make it the best for them and for our future.”

— Senator Rachael Cabral-Guevara