Communities are strong when residents are healthy and the economy is thriving. Housing is a critical component to that. Families need safe, stable, affordable places to live so adults can work, children can succeed in school, and local businesses can flourish.
Studies for Dodge and Jefferson counties conducted in 2021 by UW-Whitewater revealed a shortage of all types housing in our communities, especially for income constrained households. Approximately 40% of households are forced to pay more than 30% of their gross income on housing expenses.
To address the need, the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation (GWCHF) has engaged Cedar Corp, a multi-disciplinary community infrastructure firm, to work with city officials in Jefferson and Watertown to develop strategies for housing development. This work is essential to keeping employees working in our businesses, children attending our schools, and residents spending their dollars locally.
Recent sessions have been convened with community leaders and residents to present information on the local housing crisis and to seek feedback to inform planning. We look forward to sharing more information on this new GWCHF priority as plans begin to take shape.