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Stevens Point Housing Taskforce targets ways to help housing issues in the community

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The Stevens Point Common Council voted Monday night to approve a Housing Taskforce.

Research shows incomes have been going down in the area, while rent and listing prices have been going up.

A 2017 housing study was created to learn more about the aspects of housing in the community. People responded to a survey that it was crucial for housing to be addressed.

“We’re going to need a really big table, to make sure we are getting input from all of the groups. And that’s under-served populations, marginalized communities, homeless [and] people with disabilities,” Mayor of Stevens Point, Mike Wiza said.

Many organizations and agencies are coming together to represent those groups, from the Community Action Program (CAP), to realtors.

“All of the different housing needs come into play here,” Wiza said.

One organization that has a first-hand witness of those needs is the Salvation Army.

“We are the emergency shelter here in Stevens Point which we have a capacity of up to 46 people,” Hope Center Director, Ed Wilson said. “Our challenge is to always find affordable housing.”

The council finds this task force valuable because of the housing problems and issues in Stevens Point.

“I hear frequently the mid-range home is lacking in the area,” Wiza said. “There’s not as many options for people like that.”

Wiza highlighted another aspect the proposal helps with.

“That transition from young people renting into homeownership and trying to make that transition easier.” Wiza added “what can the city do to try and help you.”

Wilson said this task force is important for the city.

“It opens up that avenue of communication between not only agencies but with the city and landlords as well.” He added “I think it’s just a great way to go where we can all talk about what we’re facing and to come up with solutions together as a group.”

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