Proposal to bring more affordable housing to Stevens Point

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 7:21 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - A proposal has been introduced to bring accessible dwelling and commercial units in Stevens Point.

The proposal would allow homeowners to add new dwellings to their existing property. Those could be described as backyard cottages or granny flats. It’s an idea that has been seen in communities across the country.

“If someone’s able to build accessory dwelling it in their backyard maybe they can rent it out at a cheaper rate than what a new apartment in downtown Stevens point might cost,” Director of Community Development, Ryan Kernosky said.

But the proposal in Stevens Point has brought controversy and confusion to the community. Kernosky said the confusion has made the city revise the proposal and involve neighborhoods in the conversation.

“Everyone that would be built would be a two-story student-rental. Of course, we have the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point right in the center of the city. And so rentals are a big concern, especially in our core neighborhoods. That’s not necessarily true it could be a one-story 400 square-foot detached structure that maybe isn’t going to be occupied by students. Maybe it’s occupied by your parents your grandparents,’ he clarified.

The commercial units could be used for an additional workspace. “It may make Stevens point a more attractive place to relocate to, as opposed to some of the bigger community if you’re able to work remotely,” he added.

Kernosky said the proposal has multiple opportunities. “We’re trying to look forward and see what the future of remote work looks like but also recognizing if there’s a real opportunity with a dwelling component.”

Neighborhood meetings are being scheduled by local alders. If you have questions, you can contact the city’s staff. For more information about the dwellings, click here.

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