PD's Pick of the Week! Use Messner's for Affordable Housing

Seems like a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, it may not be.  Please help support this idea early on!

Here's the resolution that will be introduced tonight at the county board to provide affordable housing for families and an email from Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner who is the main sponsor along with some other information.  At a time of intense investment in the East Wash corridor and a massive increase in luxury rentals, we must use the power of local government to build intentionally inclusive and equitable development! It will take a strong County-City-private sector collaboration to make this happen.  Your vocal support can make that happen.  MMSD has already identified 1100 homeless school kids this school year? We cannot count on the federal and state government to address our affordable housing crisis, we need to lead locally! 

Please contact your elected representatives in County and City government. Emailing all allders (allalders@cityofmadison.com) and all supervisors (county_board_recipients@co.dane.wi.us ).  If you want specific contact information or want to call them here is the individual contact info for alders and supervisors.  Make sure to include you address and personalize your emails.  Most elected officials tally the results and respond only to their own constituents or people they know.


Attached please find a resolution to designate the County owned property at and near Messner's (1326 E. Washington Ave) for a mixed income housing project that includes housing designated for very low income and extremely low income families.  It will be introduced tomorrow and is expected to be on the agenda for the Personnel & Finance Committee on Jan. 30.  If approved there, it would be  on the County Board agenda Feb. 9.   We're trying to move forward deliberately and transparently and have built in many opportunities for public input.   If the RFP is awarded to a developer at the County Board's August meeting (which would happen by separate resolution), it would be possible for the developer to apply for WHEDA tax credits in November.  We also are sensitive to concerns regarding the property languishing in its current vacant state.

This is just the beginning of the process.   As you'll see in the attached timeline, this resolution is to designate the property for this purpose and set forth a process for drafting the RFP, after a neighborhood meeting and consideration by the Personnel & Finance Committee.  I know folks have many good ideas for what should be part of the RFP and I look forward to hearing more from you.  The resolution provides one seat each for TLNA, TLNA's alder, and TLNA's supervisor on the RFP selection committee, in addition to one seat each for City and County staff.  The award of the RFP requires final approval by the County Board and would be introduced by a separate resolution, which is expected to happen late July of this year.  As you'll see, the County hopes to partner with the City of Madison on this project.  

I appreciate all the feedback I've received as I've been preparing this resolution, including the support from the TLNA Council.  

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Heidi M. Wegleitner
County Board, District 2

<b><a href="http://www.forwardlookout.com/2017/01/use-messners-site-for-affordable-housing/25411/wegleitner-messners-property" rel="attachment wp-att-25412">RESOLUTION</</a></b>

In late 2015, Dane County purchased three parcels of property at or near 1326 E. Washington Avenue in the City of Madison for potential use as a comprehensive day resource center to serve persons experiencing homelessness.  In 2016, Dane County purchased property at 615 E. Washington Ave., a site closer to downtown shelter and services, and secured a conditional use permit to operate the day resource center at that location.   The parcels of property at and near 1326 E. Washington Ave. are now available for redevelopment for another purpose.

The 2015 Dane County Housing Needs Assessment identified a significant affordable housing shortage in Dane County, requiring the creation of tens of thousands of new units over the next 25 years and significant rent burdens for low income households.   The most serious housing barriers exist for those at or below 30% of County Median Income (CMI) which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development identifies as "extremely low income".  

The lack of affordable housing has a direct impact on the well-being and educational achievement of children in Dane County.  In the 2015-2016 school year, the Madison Metropolitan School District identified over 1300 homeless school children and 1100 students have already been identified in the 2016-2017 school year.  A disproportionate number of homeless students are students of color.

In 2015, Dane County established an affordable housing development fund to dedicate capital funding to address our affordable housing shortage.  Each year, Dane County has partnered with the City of Madison on a joint project of permanent supportive housing and continues to collaborate with the City of Madison and the Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County on the Zero Initiative which seeks to end homelessness for 400 families by 2017.  Creating new housing units targeted to homeless families is key to achieving our goal to end family homelessness.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Dane County designate its property at and near 1326 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI for a development project that includes mixed income residential rental housing, including affordable rental housing for very low income (below 50% county median income) and extremely low income families (below 30% county median income).

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Dane County shall not operate the residential rental housing, but will select an operator through a request for proposals (RFP).

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Dane County shall hold a public meeting in the Tenney Lapham neighborhood for gathering community input to  guide the drafting of the RFP for the housing development project.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the RFP be approved by the Personnel & Finance Committee prior to its issuance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a RFP for a housing project developer partner be issued in 2017.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Dane County Affordable Housing Development funds be made available for the development of this project.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County shall seek to partner with the City of Madison on this development project.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the RFP evaluation team include the following: a representative from the Tenney Lapham Neighborhood Association, City of Madison Community Development Staff, Dane County Affordable Housing Development Fund Staff, District 2 City Alder, and the District 2 County Supervisor; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the award of the RFP shall require County Board approval.</blockquote>


Jan. 26   Introduction of resolution to designate county property for housing development project
Jan. 30   Resolution considered by Personnel & Finance committee at 5:30 PM
Feb. 9   Resolution expected to be considered by County Board
Late Feb- Early March  Community meeting to be held to gather input for RFP drafting
March 23  Personnel & Finance Committee to take public comment on draft RFP
April       RFP is drafted by affordable housing development staff
May 8   Personnel & Finance Committee considers RFP approval
June 30  RFP closes
July  RFP team selects proposal from RFP responses
August 17 County Board considers approval of RFP award</blockquote>

Please urge your elected officials to support!