Legislative Alert: Workforce Housing a Top Priority

 September 09, 2019

While the Wisconsin economy has returned to growth since the end of the Great Recession, its housing stock is falling behind. Because Wisconsin is not experiencing enough homebuilding to keep up with the demand of the state’s growing workforce, the WRA has made addressing the state’s workforce housing shortage a priority during this legislative session. 


  • Wisconsin has not built enough homes to
    keep up with population and income growth.
  • Construction costs are rising faster than inflation
    and incomes.
  • Outdated land use regulations drive up the cost of
  • These factors have resulted in rising housing costs, declining homeownership rates and declining housing affordability. 

What’s in play: The WRA and interested allies will introduce several proposals during this legislative session to address the workforce housing shortage. These proposals will incentivize initiatives like building more housing, encouraging a more diverse housing stock, reinvesting in older housing stock, and making housing a priority at the local level. Watch for more information this fall. 

Learn more: The WRA and Kurt Paulsen, Ph.D., AICP, professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently commissioned a report titled “Falling Behind,” which addresses Wisconsin’s workforce shortage. The report explores the causes of Wisconsin’s workforce housing shortage, results of the shortage and a roadmap to reform. Visit www.wra.org/FallingBehind to view the report and visit www.wra.org/PressRelease/FallingBehind to read the official press release about the report. 

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