Study: Wisconsin housing shortage expected to get worse

The study says finding affordable housing is going to get harder
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 5:40 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A newly released study shows the housing shortage in Wisconsin will likely get worse over the next 10 years.

The study shows it’s due to a couple of contributing factors, including a recent slowdown in home construction due to labor and supply shortages and many from the baby boom generation are retiring, but plan to stay in their homes for another 10 to 15 years or more.

“They’re doing nothing different than other generations before them, but it essentially shrinks the quote on quote workforce housing stock which is people ages 18 to 64 that are in the workforce,” said Dale Knapp, the Director with Forward Analytics which conducted the study. “That generation was doing a lot of positive things and now just because of their size, it’s having other impacts on our economy.”

Knapp says the study shows to keep up with demand, Wisconsin needs to build at least 140,000 new housing units over the next 10 years to accommodate people entering the workforce.

The study also finds affordable housing will be even more challenging for young adults, again due to the baby boom generation retiring because this in turn shrinks the amount of homes available to the younger working generation-- which means people may be looking to move somewhere else with more opportunity.

“What you would see is that workforce shortage being exacerbated, so you’ll be seeing young people maybe up to 40, leaving the state for other places where they can find good jobs and affordable housing,” explained Knapp. “If we lose a year or two of a lot of construction that really puts on behind the eight ball.”

Knapp added that in the decade prior about 150,000 homes were built so the 140,000 goal is doable, but it’s going to be about working around the construction slowdown the state has seen due to labor and supply shortages.

There’s also many unknowns based on what will happen with the Federal Reserve with interest rates.

Click HERE to look at the study.