Dane County Holds Housing Summit

May 29, 2015
Stephanie Miller, Communications Director, 608.267.8823 or 608.635.5796
County Executive

                                        Parisi: “We must address the housing gap”


MADISON- This week, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi welcomed participants to the first ever Dane County Housing Summit.  The summit provided Dane County municipal leaders, policy makers and residents an opportunity to learn about the county’s current housing needs, who is most affected by the housing gap, the impacts, and potential solutions. The packed room and diverse representation of attendees demonstrates that there is a county-wide interest in solving our affordable housing gap.  After a three hour educational summit, attendees stayed later to mingle with presenters and learn more about the data presented and potential solutions. This summit was a successful first step towards more strategic, regional collaboration to address our affordable housing crisis.


“My goal as County Executive is to ensure all of our citizens have access to all that Dane County has to offer -- including affordable housing,” said Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive.  “The Dane County Housing Summit is a good step forward towards finding solutions to our current housing challenges. We must address the housing gap.”


At the Summit, the Dane County Housing Needs Assessment, by Kurt Paulsen, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin which was developed at the request Dane County, was presented.  The Dane County Housing Needs Assessment provides detailed information about the housing needs gap in each of the municipalities in Dane County and includes a variety of different scenarios to calculate the gap.  A panel of stakeholders from the public and private sector shared their perspectives on our current housing challenges.  Tools for implementation were discussed.


Presenters outlined various groups of people facing significant obstacles to adequate housing, including our working families and seniors.  According to the report, there are “2200 seniors in our county who are paying more than 50% of their monthly income on housing.”  Plans to offer subsequent educational meetings based on the report findings for communities around Dane County are being discussed.


The panel discussions included model housing developments and Dane County resources. Participants heard from Robert Gake, Developers of Parmenter Circle, a mixed income multi-family housing development in Middleton; Valerie Johnson, Habitat for Humanity, about single home development; Michael Basford, Housing Initiatives, regarding housing for veterans and the disabled; and Dave Porterfield, from Movin’ Out.