VernonReporter

State Representative Loren Oldenburg legislative update

Housing in the 2023-2025 Wisconsin state budget

Editorial Column by Representative Oldenburg (R-Viroqua)

Housing and construction costs have increased significantly in recent years, with the statewide median home price increasing 7.7% from the first half of 2022 to the first half of 2023. Seeing this low inventory and high demand in the housing market, the legislature allocated $525 million dollars to help with the affordability and accessibility of housing in Wisconsin. The 2023-2025 state budget includes funding for the workforce housing rehabilitation loan program, the Main Street Housing rehabilitation revolving loan fund, and the commercial-to-housing conversion revolving loan fund.

The workforce housing rehabilitation loan program is intended to help keep existing homeowners in their homes. Loans from this program can be used to remove lead paint, repair flooring, update plumbing systems, etc. $50 million dollars in funding will go towards this program and keeping the loans it offers available to homeowners.

The Main Street Housing rehabilitation revolving loan fund’s goal is to improve rental housing on Main Street properties. These loans can be used by owners of rental properties to cover the costs of keeping their housing safe. $100 million dollars in funding will be going toward this loan fund this biennium.

Lastly, the commercial-to-housing conversion revolving loan fund creates more opportunities to convert vacant commercial buildings into livable housing. This program can be used to create housing for younger people in the workforce and seniors, both of these groups have been negatively affected by the increase in housing prices. $100 million dollars will be available through this program for housing conversion projects.

Making sure that Wisconsinites have access to safe, affordable homes is of upmost importance. Rising inflation and workforce shortages have made this difficult, but I am hopeful that the investments in housing in this year’s state budget will help support new and existing homeowners. For further questions regarding housing in the 2023-2025 Wisconsin state budget, please feel free to reach out to my office at Rep.Oldenburg@legis.wisconsin.gov or at (608) 237-9196

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