The city of Madison Finance Committee approved funding for multiple affordable housing projects on Monday, setting up the Common Council to vote on final approval next week.
The initiative will allocate $11.3 million in funding for five housing projects citywide. Funding for the projects will come from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund and will be divided between District 11, District 13 and District 19 on Madison’s west side. Approximately 375 units are planned, 300 of which will be affordable.
District 11 Ald. Bill Tishler told The Daily Cardinal these projects will benefit older Madison residents.
“Young people starting out here in Madison need affordable housing, but also we need to look at the older population who are living on a fixed income,” Tishler said.
More than 600 individuals and 70 families experiencing homelessness in Dane County were waiting for housing as of August 2023, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
An average of 700 people in Dane County alone were unhoused on any given night in 2022, equating to 12 out of every 10,000 residents, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. This figure is nearly 50% higher than the state average and marks a sharp increase from 2019, when Dane County averaged 578 homeless individuals.
Tishler said as District 11 expands closer to the center of the city its population increases and the need for affordable housing grows.
“There is definitely a need for affordable housing because we are no longer the far west side of the city. We are three miles away from campus,” Tishler said. “District 11 is becoming more in the center, and so you want to have affordable housing near the amenities that a city has to offer… The location that has been selected is ideal.”
The housing projects in District 11 will receive $2.1 million of the funding set aside, according to Tishler. The region already has 82 units of affordable housing near the former Westgate Mall and is scheduled to have 80 units of market-rate housing built next year for senior citizens. New housing units will be constructed in the University Park Commons area of the district.
The Common Council will vote on the project at its Dec. 5 meeting. Tishler said he is confident the Common Council will approve the funding.
“The Common Council has already set money aside. Now it is just deciding on where this particular amount will be going in 2024,” Tishler said. “I can’t see why they are not in agreement with funding.”