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Wednesday, August 04, 2021
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Madison affordable housing neighborhood gets a $50 million makeover

The Bayview Foundation, a locally based non-profit, announced that they will dedicate more than $50 million to redeveloping the Triangle neighborhood.

The Triangle neighborhood encompasses West Washington, Regent Street and La Mariposa Lan, and is located in downtown Madison. Currently, the Bayview Foundation has provided low-income housing for approximately 300 residents in its low-income housing community. In order to allow for more residents, the Bayview foundation is polling resources with the current residents and Horizon Development Group redesign and updated existing facilities. 

Bayview Executive Director Alexis Hood stated that the current living spaces are beyond “their functional lifespan” — as they were constructed in the 1980s — and the community center is no longer able to meet the needs of Triangle residents. 

The new housing will include a modern four and three-story apartment as well as eight two-story townhouses. Hood said other features of the renovation include a food pantry, public art, classrooms, a community center, shared gardens and cost-saving sustainable utilities. 

Hood stated that she believes these additions will help to establish a connected community where services are just steps away from people’s homes. The services, programs and classes at Bayview won’t be only accessible to residents, but will be accessible to others living in the surrounding downtown area as well. 

Hood said that the Bayview foundation hopes to be less conventional than urban planning by allowing and encouraging residents to play a major role in giving input and helping design the space. 

To allow for easier access for residents, development meetings held by the Bayview Foundation have been held in multiple languages, with childcare and snacks available for attendees. In addition, grants have been provided for resident leaders who sat through and gave input at design meetings, according to the Wisconsin State Journal

Starting in 1966, Bayview began providing housing to those whose household income falls under designated federal income limits, making them eligible for affordable housing. Additionally, the community aims to provide a network of social resources like after-school youth programs and art projects while also continuing large events such as the Triangle Ethnic Fest. 

A majority of residents in Bayview housing are of Southeast Asian heritage — including Hmong, Laotian and Cambodian communities — while a little more than a quarter are Latinx and about 14% are Black. Almost all of the residents are classified as very low-income, according to the Wisconsin State Journal

“Bayview is really special because of the residents who live here,” Hood said. “They come from so many different backgrounds. They have incredible histories and stories.” 

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