In 2014, Madison set a five-year goal to create 1,000 units of affordable housing.
With the aid of $20.3 million from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund, the city has supported 18 new affordable housing developments. Four of those projects are still in need of more funding, but if all proposed projects are completed, Madison will benefit from a total of 1,149 affordable units, meeting its goal.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has said he wants to continue the effort past five years, and every year the capital budget has added another year of funding for the program, said Jim O’Keefe, director of the city’s Community Development Division.
The city established the Affordable Housing Fund in 2014 to encourage developers to build affordable units in amenity-rich areas with easy access to public transportation.
The city gives thousands or millions of dollars to developers, which makes them more likely to receive federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, distributed through the Wisconsin Housing Economic and Development Authority (WHEDA). Those credits provide a huge portion of needed funding.
There are now eight completed Affordable Housing Fund-supported projects, two under construction, three slated to start construction next year and four more developments that have been proposed and are seeking WHEDA funding. Affordable units set rents at 30, 50 and 60 percent of the area's median income.
Here’s an update on where those projects stand.
- Maple Grove Commons by Oakbrook Corporation at 3204 Golden Copper Lane: The city provided $1 million to the $13 million project, which built 80 units, 68 of which are affordable.
- Carbon at Union Corners by Gorman & Company at 2504 Winnebago St.: The apartment building holds 90 units, with 76 of those as affordable apartments. The city contributed $1 million to the $17 million project.
- Tennyson Ridge by WHDC & Lutheran Social Services on Tennyson Lane: The development provides 72 units, 61 of which are affordable. The city committed $1 million to the $10 million project.
- Pinney Lane Apartments by Stone House Development & Moving Out at 902-914 Royster Oaks Drive: The project created 70 units of housing, 59 of those are affordable. The city committed $660,000 to the $13 million project, although this project was funded before the creation of the Affordable Housing Fund.
- 8Twenty Park by JTKlein & DCHA at 820 S. Park St.: The project offers 67 apartments, 58 of which are affordable. The city committed $1.25 million to the $15 million project. A second phase of the project added 28 more units, 24 of which are affordable. That phase did not receive city funding.
- The Breese by Stone House Development at 1003 E Mifflin St.: The complex includes a four-story building with 65 units, 55 of which are affordable units. The city has committed $1 million to the $12 million project.
- The Royal by Mirus Partners & Movin’ Out at 2232 W. Broadway: This project would build a 48-unit building with 40 units for low-income individuals. The city committed $580,000 from the Affordable Housing Fund to the $10 million project.
- Rethke Terrace Apartments by Heartland Housing at 715 Rethke Ave.: The project created 60 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals, with 25 units slated for veterans. The city provided almost $1.5 million to the $8 million project.
- Tree Lane Family Apartments by Heartland Housing at 7933 Tree Lane: The city committed $1.6 million to the $11.6 million project that will provide 45 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless families.
GrandFamily Housing by Gorman & Company, at 2507 Winnebago St.: The city has committed $950,000 to the $12 million project that will build 60 units, 56 of which will be affordable.
The proposed GrandFamily Housing development is intended for families where grandparents or extended family members — rather than parents — are raising children. GrandFamily is the third of four phases at the Union Corners development on Madison’s east side.
Timeline: Construction started this year, and is scheduled to be complete in September 2019.
Normandy Square by MSP Real Estate, Inc. at 6509 Normandy Lane: The project will create 58 units of housing for seniors, and 48 of those would be affordable. The city committed $850,000 to the project to the $11 million project.
Timeline: Construction is underway and is scheduled to be complete by August 2019.
The Grove Apartments by MSP Real Estate, Inc. at 204 Cottage Grove Road: The proposal would create 112 units of housing and 95 of those would be affordable. The city has committed up to $3 million to the approximately $20 million project.
The project failed to get WHEDA credits in February, but in an unusual move, the project received $13.4 million in credits just a few months later, after the federal budget increased the amount of credits available.
Timeline: Construction is scheduled to start in January 2019 and be complete by March 2020.
These three projects failed to get needed WHEDA tax credits in 2017, but applied again and were awarded the full requested amount in 2018:
Fair Oaks Apartments by Stone House Development at 134 S. Fair Oaks Ave.: The development would build 80 total units and 68 of those would be affordable. The estimated cost of the project is $17 million and the city has committed up to $1.35 million to the project.
Timeline: The project is scheduled to begin in January 2019 and be complete by January 2020.
Tree Lane Senior Housing by CommonBond Communities at 7941 Tree Lane: The proposal would create about 54 units of senior housing and 51 of those units would be affordable. The city has committed $1.48 million to the project from the Affordable Housing Fund to the $11 million project.
Timeline: The project is scheduled to begin in April 2019 and end in spring 2020.
Park Street Apartments by Heartland Housing at 1202 S. Park Street: A permanent supportive housing project, the proposal would build 58 units for homeless single adults. The project is estimated to cost $11.6 million dollars and the city has committed $2.07 million from the Affordable Housing Fund.
After problems arose at two other Madison Heartland permanent supportive developments at Rethke Terrace and Tree Lane, some Park Street neighbors said Heartland needs to fix problems at Rethke Terrace and Tree Lane before starting a third.
Timeline: This project still needs city approvals, but Heartland recently decided to refer its appearance before the Plan Commission.
APPLYING FOR FUNDING
The following are applying for needed Low Income Housing Tax Credits: The Ace Apartments, Valor on Washington and Schroeder Road Apartments are all applying for the traditional credits other Madison developments have utilized, which will be announced in February or March 2019. Bayview is seeking a different form of low income tax credits that better suit its development process, which would be completed in stages.
Schroeder Road Apartments by Stone House Development at 5614 Schroeder Road: The project would provide 96 units, 81 of which would be affordable. City staff recommended $1.85 million from the Affordable Housing Fund for the $20.6 million project.
Neighbors have voiced concerns about increased traffic and that housing individuals with low-incomes would lead to more police calls, crime and instability in the neighborhood, but the project recently received needed land use approvals from the city’s Plan Commission.
Timeline: Construction is slated to begin early in 2019 and be completed that fall.
The Ace Apartments by Mirus Partners & Movin’ Out at 4602 Cottage Grove Road: The four-story project would provide 70 units of housing for an estimated $20 million, and 59 units would be affordable. The project received $1.1 million from the Affordable Housing Fund.
Timeline: The estimated start date for construction is the spring of 2020.
Valor on Washington by Gorman & Company at 1314-1326 E. Washington Ave.: The 59-unit project, 50 of which would be affordable, is estimated to cost $15 million. The project will receive $950,000 from the city.
The project is for for veterans and their families and Dryhootch, a nonprofit support organization for veterans, will occupy space on the first floor of the building. Lutheran Social Services will provide supportive services for all tenants.
Timeline: If granted WHEDA credits, construction could begin in 2020 and finish by mid-2021, according to a city staff report.
Bayview Foundation Apartments by the Bayview Foundation & Horizon Development Group, Inc., at 601 Bay View: The project would provide 130 units, 120 of which would be affordable, and a community center for an estimated $29 million. The project received $1.9 million from the Affordable Housing Fund and $990,000 in federal funding for the project.
The development would replace the 102 existing townhomes located in the triangle bordered by South Park Street, Regent Street and West Washington Avenue, most of which are supported by Section 8. Bayview’s proposal would demolish the existing housing and 6,000 square-foot community center. In its place, the project would construct 100 new townhome units, a 30-unit two- or three-story building and a new community center.
Timeline: This project could begin construction in spring 2020.
Packers Flats by Impact Seven development at 1814 Packers Ave. on the north side: The four-story building would have had 61 total units of housing — 51 affordable — as well as first-floor commercial and office space. The project was estimated to cost $15 million.
The developer “couldn’t make the numbers work,” and stepped away from the property, O’Keefe said. He is not aware of any plans by Impact Seven or any other developer for the site.
A proposal from Madison's Red Caboose Child Care Center and Movin’ Out development on Madison’s east side was put on pause after nearby residents had questions about whether the neighborhood could accommodate parking for the site, especially with the completed 90-unit Carbon at Union Corners housing project and coming 60-unit GrandFamily housing in the area, O’Keefe said.
The developer is trying to “get to a place where the neighborhood could be satisfied with it,” O’Keefe said.