The Washington County village, Jackson, broke ground on a 101 unit subdivision Monday. This marked the beginning of a $10m county effort to make homeownership accessible for the younger generation.
The project is part of the Next Generation Housing Initiative for the county, which aims at creating 1,000 new owner-occupied housing units by 2032. 75% will sell for less than $320,000, and 100%, including home and land, under $420,000.
The county wants to build more affordable starter homes for first-time buyers or families who are downsizing.
Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann stated in a press release that "there are significant hurdles to homeownership, making it almost impossible for our young generation to buy what was once called "starter homes." Very few developers are meeting the demand for'missing' middle housing stock.
Schoemann, who spoke on Monday, said that municipalities across the nation and in southeast Wisconsin have been enforcing regulations for the past 20 years which prohibit the construction of smaller houses on smaller lots. He said that as part of a new housing initiative the county works with local municipalities to make this change.
A draft state law that is in the works will encourage communities to eliminate regulations that may lead to higher costs for housing.
The 20-acre Jackson Subdivision will be located about 30 miles north from Milwaukee, at N168W19851 Main St. The Oaks of Jackson will be a collection of 53 single-family houses, 40 townhomes, and eight twins.
Washington County Director of Communications and Community Relations Fran McLaughlin stated via email that the county and the village are currently selecting builders for the Washington County project. The village owns and controls the site. Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. worked on the concept design.
The construction of homes is anticipated to start in the fall 2023, once the infrastructure has been completed. First home sales may occur in spring 2024.
The county will allocate $10 million to the Next Generation Housing Initiative, which includes $2.5 million of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and $7.5 millions from its general funds.
The county will use $6.75million of that budget to fund three pilot projects, including the one that just recently began in Jackson. The City of Hartford, and the Village of Slinger will also be receiving pilot development funds. The county will also devote $2.5 million towards a downpayment program.