Affordable Housing Needed Action More Than Words
I agree with outgoing SEWRPC executive director Phil Evenson that the region needs more affordable housing - - a need that is pressing in Waukesha County where SEWRPC is headquartered in which many of its key administrators live - - but it's hard not to mention that for Evenson's entire tenure as the regional planning agency's boss there was no plan written there for the region's housing needs.
The last such plan was written in 1975, and a committee SEWRPC has named to finally begin such a study after nearly 34 years has yet to meet.
With all due respect, it would have been nice if this planning had been done years ago - not the swan song when Evenson is retiring. Those concerned about the issue need to keep on SEWRPC - and make sure the housing group evaluates ways to not only do a study that gets shoved into a drawer (like the 1975 one mostly was) and claim there's nothing they can do, but also find methods to actually build affordable housing throughout the region.
Similarly, let's hope the MJS sticks to the position it articulated - instead of turning around and advocating for every highway-heavy or water-diverting project that comes up. The following is, I think, the core point of its edit, and something concerned members of our community also should be (and are) working for:
"[I]t will be critical for the region to physically connect workers to jobs. That connection needs to be made on three fronts: building jobs where there are unemployed workers, such as the inner cities of Milwaukee and Racine; building a better regional transportation system under one authority to transport the unemployed to jobs [and yes, that means in Waukesha too]; and building housing that average workers can afford closer to jobs in the areas around Milwaukee."
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