We believe everyone has a right to safe, affordable housing. But right now, the average Wisconsinite cannot afford the average Wisconsin home. Get involved and help us build a community where all feel they belong.
Our Advocacy Goals
We advocate for housing policies at the national level through action alerts and by attending the annual Habitat on the Hill D.C. Here are our current national priorities:
HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) are resources used to develop new homes and ensure housing affordability for Habitat clients. With increasing land and construction costs and stagnating wages, these resources are vital in providing access to homeownership for working-class families.
The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) would provide a federal tax credit to build and rehabilitate homes for lower and middle-income families. Habitat La Crosse could utilize the NHIA to support the financing of new construction or rehab.
In Wisconsin, the median home sale price in 2023 is $260k, up from $135k in 2012. The proposed Wisconsin Workforce Housing Program would help break down barriers to homeownership. This is a $100M program designed to provide gap financing for first-time homebuyers with incomes up to 120% of area median income (AMI).
The gap financing is intended to supplement a conventional mortgage and may be layered with other financial assistance programs. It is available for owner-occupied new, recently rehabbed and existing single-family homes.
Habitat staff participate in statewide advocacy by attending Hill Day in Madison every May and participating in monthly advocacy calls with other Wisconsin affiliates.
In collaboration with the Housing Advocacy Committee, Habitat advocates for policies that increase housing access and affordability in La Crosse. We make recommendations to local elected officials to help guide their work. Most recently, we proposed four updates to zoning code that would help increase the supply of houses for local families.
Housing Advocacy Committee
The Housing Advocacy Committee is a grassroots collaboration of entities concerned about affordable housing. This group includes representatives from:
Couleecap, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University, Western Technical College, Legal Action of Wisconsin, YWCA-La Crosse, Cia Siab, Inc., USDA, School District of La Crosse, UW-Madison Division of UW Extension - La Crosse County, African American Mutual Assistance Network, Marine Credit Union Foundation, and Coulee Collaboration to End Homelessness
What We Do
- Bring attention to challenges people in our community face regarding affordable housing
- Advocate for legislation and policy changes that address these challenges locally and at the state level
- Share resources and host events that increase awareness of common housing problems and solutions