Suffer til we build housing?

Posted March 21st, 2013 @ 11:12 AM by

Really Mayor Paul? You’re killing me. Yes, we need permanent housing. That’s going to take a while, what do people do until we get more affordable housing? How many units are you willing to build? Meantime, will you have a moratorium on ticketing people with no legal place to go?

March 19, 2013
Dane County Homeless Issues Committee:

I received correspondence from Tim Saterfield dated March 13th regarding your committee’s communication on camping and single room occupancy (SRO) dwellings.

The city of Madison is working on a number of initiatives to address the need for affordable housing including permanent housing that serves homeless populations.

The first is to develop more single residency occupancy housing. The Parcel G project in San Francisco is an impressive example of SRO housing with very strong on-site support services. This type of project is expensive to build and operate. I asked city housing staff to develop a similar Madison proposal. A portion of construction funds could come from the Affordable Housing Trust. I do not where we would get the balance of the needed capital funds or how the facility would be operated. City committees will be involved in recommending the best way to do this. It seems logical to involve the County and your committee in discussions about commitments of Dane County human services as well as public health services for operating and staffing a facility similar to the Parcel G project. Information on the Parcel G project can be found here:

In addition, I asked Planning Division staff to look at zoning codes for cities that include density bonuses for developers who either include affordable units in housing developments or who make a contribution to the affordable housing trust fund. This kind of program exists in cities with less than so-called ‘progressive’ reputations like Chicago and Miami. It is voluntary and is not to be confused with inclusionary zoning.

Across the United States, which includes leaders in Madison such as the United Way of Dane County, the YWCA and the Road Home, the expert consensus is that housing solutions lie in permanent accommodations for homeless people, not temporary housing. For that reason I do not support any ordinance changes that would allow for camping sites as housing alternatives.

Paul R. Soglin

Categories: | Dane | Madison | Media

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