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Dane County strategizes over affordable housing

The Housing Advisory Committee has a five year plan.

A groundbreaking ceremony for an apartment complex in Madison. It features nine people, including the mayor, in hard hats with shovels in their hands

Local dignitarites were at the groundbreaking of Rise Madison, a large affordable housing project, in late January. | Photo by 608today

Dane County is the fastest growing county in the state. The number of jobs grew 14% from 2010-2021 and the county added 42,000 households within that same time frame.

However, not enough housing has been developed to keep up with that growth.

That’s why the Housing Advisory Committee, composed of 80 people involving 17 municipalities and housing partners, launched its Dane County Regional Housing Strategy action plan to address affordable housing concerns.

The five-year plan suggests that Dane County needs to produce about 7,000 housing units per year to meet existing needs and match growth. Currently, approximately 5,000 units per year are being created.


The organization identified five housing priorities to guide future efforts:

  • Increase the number of housing units attainable to low-income and moderate-income households
    The plan suggests creating 13,300 new rental units affordable to households making less than 30% of the county median income (generally less than $35,000).
  • Increase the overall number of housing units
    The plan recommends 139,000 new housing units by 2040.
  • Provide housing, resources and protections for the most vulnerable populations
    The plan calls for an expansion of racial equity and inclusion training.
  • Rehabilitate and preserve affordability of existing housing
    The plan advises for at least 250 affordable single-family for-sale older homes to remain in the housing ecosystem.
  • Provide more pathways to home ownership
    The plan advocates for an expansion of homebuyer education and assistance programs.

When unveiling the plan, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said, “I think the most important part of the plan is that we are all moving down the same pathway together. While I often talk about how much Madison is growing, that’s also true throughout the county, and we all need to row in the same direction to tackle the challenge of affordable housing as we grow.”

Get involved

You can read the full report. Additionally, you can follow along on social media for project updates (the organization plans on putting out an online housing priorities survey soon).

Email the organization with further questions or to get involved.