MADISON – Thursday, Oct. 7, State Representative Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) led a group of his Republican colleagues in unveiling a package of bills that seeks to address Wisconsin’s growing workforce housing shortage.

“The lack of available and affordable housing in Wisconsin is a real problem. It affects all regions of our state, especially rural Wisconsinites. In recent years, our state has created fewer lots and fewer new homes; rents are rising faster than employee’s incomes; and construction costs are increasing. Unfortunately, these trends have made it a challenge for Wisconsin to be an attractive destination for workers and businesses alike.

“As chairman of the Housing and Real Estate Committee, I am focused on finding sensible solutions. That is why today, I am proud to announce this strong package of bills that work towards solving this problem. This package of bills will help address Wisconsin’s housing shortage and make the state an attractive place to live and work again.”

Included in the legislative package of bills introduced are reforms to cut red tape and other burdensome regulations, reform outdated industry practices, and equip families with greater resources to build, restore and renovate their homes. There was also a spotlight on existing legislation to create new housing tax credits.

Wisconsin REALTORS® Association joined the legislative leaders at the press conference.

According to a press release from Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, with increasing construction costs, an antiquated regulatory atmosphere, and a severe shortage of affordable housing, these bills have been introduced to make a difference in the lives of average Wisconsinites.

“The actions of our state’s legislators today will have a profound effect on the future of our state,” said Mary Duff, Chair of the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association’s Board of Directors. “These bills will allow  more people to afford homes in Wisconsin, and give working families a chance to build upon their dreams and provide for a better tomorrow.”

The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association said that a number of factors have led to the severe housing shortage facing Wisconsin today, including outdated development regulations, a lack of building permits being issued, and rising construction costs. The legislation put forward today will help alleviate these issues and create a vibrant and open marketplace for homes to be built, homebuyers to afford new places to live, and the state to grow in a manner that will help the economy thrive.