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Habitat Homestead to address affordable housing shortage

A rendering of Habitat Homestead planned by Habitat for Humanity planned for Green Bay’s east side. Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanit rendering

By Rick Cohler

Contributing Writer

GREEN BAY – On June 7, Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity CEO Jessica Diederich unveiled plans for a $4 million, 14 unit housing development called “Habitat Homestead” during a news conference.

Diederich said the project on Green Bay’s east side is designed to help ease an affordable housing shortage in the city.

“As we look at Green Bay, a significant number of people in our community are faced with figuring out how much of their paychecks will they have to live on after they pay for their unaffordable housing, and what will they choose to spend it on,” Diederich said. “Will it be food, healthcare, child care? Studies show that when you spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing you are cost burdened. Here in Brown County, almost 25% of our residents are spending over 30 percent of their income on housing.”

In January, Habitat for Humanity collaborated with Encompass Childcare to purchase a 2.7-acre lot where the expansion of Richmond Street joined with Vine Street on Green Bay’s east side.

The nearest intersections are Manitowoc Road and Bader Street.

Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity CEO Jessica Diederich describes the Habitat Homestead development on the city’s east side during a news conference on June 7. Rick Cohler photo

Plans call for the construction of eight single-family homes ranging from two-to-four bedrooms with several being able to add a fifth bedroom and two three-unit town homes.

There will also be two lots to build ADA-compliant homes, if needed.

“We wanted it to be densely populated, fit within the neighborhood and encourage community,” Diederich said. “We will be able to serve up to 92 people in Brown County.”

The development is expected to pay $50 thousand dollars in property taxes to the city annually.

The city of Green Bay has invested about $900,000 for infrastructure costs, but Habitat will need to raise an additional $3.5 million to complete the project and maintain needed cash flow.

Homeowners selected for the project will donate 3,500-to-7,000 hours of their time to help build their home and those of others, Diederich explained.

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich said he is celebrating the long-running collaboration between Habitat for Humanity and the city.

“This is a demonstration of the need that we have for additional housing options especially for low and moderate income folks and an additional collaboration,” he stated.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed in 18 months to two years.

Since 1987, Habitat for Humanity has built 133 homes in the community using locally purchased materials.

For more information, income eligibility  and how to donate or volunteer, visit greenbayhabitat.org.

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