Next Generation Housing

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What do you think of when you picture the "American Dream?"

Photo of Red House

Over the last 30 years, housing costs have increased substantially, making it difficult for young professionals to purchase a first home.  Creating community driven neighborhoods with high quality homes built on low cost lots, will diversify the housing market within Washington County. The Next Generation Housing Initiative will fill the market void in our suburban/exurban communities, providing attainable quality housing opportunities throughout Washington County for our next generation workforce. One of the main goals for Next Generation Housing is to support investments in the housing stock and advance the quality of the neighborhoods in the County.

The Next Generation's Housing journey will look different than the preceding generation's. Community leaders, employers, and employees have long expressed concerns over the perceived housing inventory and attainability in Washington County. View the ArcGIS Storymap below created by Economic Development Washington County (EDWC) for a detailed analysis of workforce, population, household income, and the difficulties of purchasing a home in today's economy. EDWC Storymap (External Link)

 On October 7th, Washington County hosted the Next Generation Housing Kick-off Event. During the kick-off, County Executive Josh Schoemann provided information on the new Community Development Department, introduced the Community Development Director and provided details what Next Generation Housing Initiative is trying to achieve. EDWC provided a presentation on a workforce study that was completed detailing the shortage in the workforce and the difficulties of purchasing a home in the County. Following the EDWC presentation, a panel of private sector businesses presented their perspective on the workforce shortage and housing shortage and gave their support for this new program. Lastly, there was closing remarks from the County Executive. The event had about 100 local government officials and private sector businesses in attendance. The two hour long Next Generation Housing Kick-Off Event livestream is below.

See the Next Generation Housing Event PowerPoint presentation

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) awarded Washington County $26 million in recovery funds for economic and community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that will be used to address the current and future issues pertaining to the declining workforce in Washington County. This funding will be utilized within the Community Development Department to address the current housing barriers.

Housing Opportunity Graphic

The Next Generation Housing Coalition

The Community Development Department established the Next Generation Housing Coalition comprised of local governments and key stakeholders. This Coalition will work together to overcome the barriers to Next Generation Housing and drive the implementation of the Vision and long-term solutions. The first meeting was held on December 2nd, 2021. The Housing Coalition members include:

Next Generation Housing Coalition
Brian Krebs  NGH Coalition Chair / County Board Supervisor 
Christian Tscheschlok NGH Coalition Vice Chair /Executive Director EDWC
Jodi Schulteis County Board Supervisor
Justin Drew  Community Development Director - City of Hartford
Mark Piotrowicz Development Director - City of West Bend
Jen Keller Village Administrator - Village of Jackson
Margaret Wilber Village Administrator - Village of Slinger
Katherine Gehl Administrative Services Coordinator - Village of Richfield
Dave DeLuka Village President - Village of Newburg
Adam Gitter Village Administrator - Village of Kewaskum
Steve Kreklow Village Administrator - Village of Germantown
Tom Hostad Executive Director - Hartford Area Development Corporation
Toni Gumina President & CEO - West Bend Chamber of Commerce
Dana Osmanski President - Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce
Lynn Grgich Executive Director - Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce
Laura Catherman Workforce Development Board Director - Workforce Development

Venn Diagram of NGH Future Success

Ad Hoc Workgroups

Comprised of lenders, educators, builders, developers, planners, businesses, civic/non-profit groups, and realtors, this workgroup will be the resource to determining real solutions to barriers and the resource to implement solutions. The first workgroup meeting will be held on December 16th.

Research

Use the links below to view research documents detailing the workforce and housing shortage occurring within the State of Wisconsin and the Country.

The Demographic Drought by Esmi and Ron Hetrick, et. al.

Falling Behind by Wisconsin Relators Association and Kurt Paulsen

If you would like more information relating to the Next Generation Housing Initiative, please contact Debora Sielski at deb.sielski@washcowisco.gov.

 

Southern Housing Region Program