MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has signed five bills into law affecting housing and zoning in the state.
The five bills were all passed with bipartisan support, with most of the bills creating or modifying loan programs to develop affordable housing.
Evers touted the bills as a way to stabilize communities and strengthen the economy.
“Access to safe, reliable, and affordable housing statewide is an absolutely critical part of addressing Wisconsin’s long-standing workforce challenges,” Evers said.
All five of the bills easily cleared committee, and the lone bill to receive a floor roll call vote, 2023 Assembly Bill 266, passed the state Senate 32-1.
Here’s what each bill does, as well as a link to the bill’s text and history in the legislature (click or tap on the bill name to see more):
- A.B. 264 (2023 Wisconsin Act 14): Creates a loan fund program for residential housing and allows the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Authority to distribute loans for workforce or senior housing
- A.B. 265 (2023 Wisconsin Act 15): Creates a loan fund program for main street housing rehabilitation and allows WHEDA to distribute loans to cover costs of renovating or creating workforce housing
- A.B. 266 (2023 Wisconsin Act 16): Creates a new procedure for certiorari review of residential housing land use decisions for local governments, which covers permits and authorizations
- A.B. 267 (2023 Wisconsin Act 17): Modifies the WHEDA Workforce Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program in several ways, including abatement, the types of projects covered by the loans, clarifying the age of the housing as a requirement to receive the loan, and establishes policies to make sure the loans are in good financial standing
- A.B. 268 (2023 Wisconsin Act 18): Creates a loan fund program to allow conversion of vacant commercial space into workforce or senior housing, as long as it creates 16 or more living units
Most of the bills had widespread support from various state organizations before becoming law.
Evers said that the new laws will expand access to affordable housing for families.