Securing a decent home within a suitable living environment represents a highly desired, but often elusive, goal for many individuals and families residing in the Southeastern Wisconsin Region. In the late 1960s SEWRPC, responding to a request from the Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, determined that a housing plan would constitute a major contribution to the efforts of those in the public and private sectors who focus on housing and housing related issues on a day-to-day basis. The first regional housing plan was adopted in 1975. An updated plan was adopted in 2013.
While housing is generally provided by the private sector, there are a number of public policy considerations that need to be taken into account. These include the proper coordination of housing development with other aspects of comprehensive regional development, including job locations; the regulation by the public sector of the development of housing by the private sector; discriminatory activity relative to the sale and rental of housing; and the determination of the extent to which the public sector should help provide housing for those households and individuals who have housing needs that cannot be adequately met owing to inadequate financial resources or disabilities.
Regional Housing Plan: 2035
A new regional housing plan was adopted by the Regional Planning Commission in March 2013. The plan includes 50 recommendations organized by six major topic areas: affordable housing for households of all income levels; fair housing to help overcome housing discrimination and the concentration of minority and low-income populations in portions of the Region; the balance between job wages and housing costs in communities with sanitary sewer service, which accommodate most of the jobs in the Region; housing that is accessible to persons with disabilities; the need for additional subsidized and tax credit housing; and housing development practices.
Implementation of the regional housing plan would:
Help provide decent and affordable housing for all residents of the Region;
Help address the concentration of minority and low-income populations in the central cities of Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Racine, and increase diversity in all communities in the Region;
Support economic development in the Region by providing housing affordable to the existing and projected future workforce;
Help provide enough accessible housing to meet the needs of persons with disabilities;
Help provide enough subsidized housing to meet the needs of very low income households, and also help address the problem of dilapidated, substandard, and unsafe housing in the Region; and
Promote more compact urban development that is more efficient and economical to provide with public services.