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Update: Gov. Evers radio address on signing of bipartisan package of affordable housing legislation

Previous post June 23, 2023

Madison, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers today signed five bipartisan bills to help expand access to safe, affordable housing for working families, a critical effort to help support the state’s workforce and maintain the state’s economic momentum.   

“Access to safe, reliable, and affordable housing statewide is an absolutely critical part of addressing Wisconsin’s long-standing workforce challenges,” said Gov. Evers. “But even beyond that, making sure we have safe, reliable, affordable housing statewide is about more than ensuring folks have a roof over their head a night. Housing ensures our kids have the stability to bring their best, full selves to the classroom, that hardworking folks can live in the communities they work in, which is important for the long-term strength of our economy, that individuals working to overcome substance use disorder have a safe place to focus on recovery, and that folks reentering our communities can do so safely.”

A list of the five bills signed is available below. 

Assembly Bill 264, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 14:  

  • Creates a residential housing infrastructure revolving loan fund program, allowing a residential housing developer to apply to the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) for a loan to cover the costs of installing, replacing, upgrading, or improving public infrastructure related to workforce housing or senior housing.   

Assembly Bill 265, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 15:  

  • Creates a main street housing rehabilitation revolving loan funding program, allowing an owner of rental housing to apply to WHEDA for a loan to cover the costs of an improvement to workforce housing to maintain it in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition or to restore it to that condition.   

Assembly Bill 266, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 16:  

  • Establishes a new procedure for certiorari review of local land use decisions regarding residential development, providing that the new procedure for certiorari review is the only review available for a decision of a political subdivision regarding an application for approval, such as a permit or authorization for building, zoning, driveway, stormwater, or other activity related to residential development.   

Assembly Bill 267, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 17:  

  • Makes various modifications to the Workforce Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program administered by WHEDA, including but not limited to:
    • Specifying the home must be a single-family residence that the applicant occupies as the applicant’s primary residence and that was constructed at least 40 years prior to the date of the loan application;
    • Allowing eligible rehabilitation to include the removal of lead paint, asbestos, mold, or other environmental contamination;  
    • Allowing eligible rehabilitation to include repairing or replacing flooring or an interior wall or ceiling, or an internal plumbing system; and  
    • Requiring WHEDA to establish policies and procedures to administer the loan program and the policies and procedures must, to the extent practicable, address credit underwriting guidelines and loan repayment requirements.   

Assembly Bill 268, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 18:  

  • Creates a commercial-to-residential conversation revolving loan fund program under WHEDA, allowing a developer to apply to WHEDA for a loan to cover the costs of converting a vacant commercial building to workforce housing or senior housing; and  
  • Requires the housing associated with a conversion loan must be new residential housing for rent or for sale and must consist of 16 or more dwelling units.  

Tim Hundt

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