Republicans: Address affordable housing delays citing 'not in my backyard' movement.

Byline: eduran

The Assembly's bipartisan Committee on Housing and Real Estate held a hearing Thursday to discuss seven bills related to affordable housing, including a proposed bill to overhaul local governments' power to impose a supermajority for zoning amendments and require them to approve permits aligned with local standards.

"Housing that families, seniors and workers can afford is virtually nonexistent in Wisconsin due to a myriad of factors. Wisconsin's housing crises poses an existential threat to the state's ability to attract and retain workers, students, businesses and families. The bills in this proposal seek to address the state's housing crisis and make the dream of homeownership a reality for innumerable Wisconsinites," Republicans said in their co-sponsorship memos for at least five of the bills.

Assembly Bill 266, introduced by Wisconsin State Rep. Scott Krug (R Nekoosa), will create more "certainty and predictability" in the approval process for developments before local governments and will limit the ability of "NIMBYs" or "Not in My Backyard" to delay or terminate the approval process for housing development, according to a joint statement from a group of state Representatives and Senators, including Rep. Robert Brooks (R Saukville) and Sen. Romaine Quinn (R Cameron).

The bill will limit small governments from imposing a supermajority requirement for zoning ordinances to be amended and a requirement for municipalities to approve some permit applications for residential housing development that aligns with local requirements, according to the bill text.

The bill deals with a "social phenomenon," where communities were surveyed on their thoughts for housing standards and mixed-use development, Krug said at the meeting. Krug explained that nearly 85% communities would say yes but then turn down developers who wanted to build in their neighborhood. "They say ope, hold on. We don't need it that bad," he noted.

Several bills, AB-264, AB-265, AB-268 and AB-267, all concern revolving loan funds, loan programs and Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority housing rehabilitation loans.

AB-265, proposed by Rep. Rob Summerfield (R - Bloomer), will establish a main street housing...

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