Understanding the affordable housing shortage in Waukesha County
Wisconsin Policy Forum, founded in 2018, has developed a report regarding affordable housing in Waukesha County. The purpose of the report is to help Waukesha County residents, governing officials, service providers, philanthropic leaders a better understanding of the affordable housing crisis facing Waukesha county. Here are some highlights of the report:
Waukesha County has a high percentage of homeownership.
There are stark racial disparities in homeownership. 78% of white residents own their homes while only 30% of black residents in Waukesha County are homeowners.
There are extremely low vacancy rates in Waukesha County
There is a high jobs to housing ratio, meaning many who work in Waukesha County do not live in Waukesha County.
Median gross monthly rent in Waukesha County is $1,147. This is considerably higher than nearby counties. The median in Washington County is $967 while Ozaukee County is $960.
This median gross monthly rent has grown over $278 or 32% over the past 10 years.
43.4% of renters in Waukesha County spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs. This is second only to Milwaukee County at 48.5%
Many professions do not pay enough for a single income household to afford the monthly median rent. This includes: janitors, medical assistants, bus drivers, cashiers, home health aids, cooks, nursing assistants, hairdressers among many others.
Our community urgently needs to make room for affordable housing. The need has been articulated over and over again. What is holding us back is a will to act. Yet creating affordable housing is what is best for all of us in the long term.
Read about affordable housing in the Building Blocks study.