12/24/2018- If you want to bring people to the area, they’ve got to have a place to live. That’s one of the recurring topics of discussion when it comes to Marinette County’s economic and community development efforts. For several months, Bay Lakes Regional Planning Commission has been working on a comprehensive housing study for the area and presented their findings to the Marinette County Board of Supervisors earlier this week. Madison Smith, Community Assistance Planner with Bay Lakes says as population numbers continue to climb, housing availability lags behind, particularly in the county’s more heavily populated areas like Peshtigo and Marinette.
The study shows the county lacks all types of housing in the current market, but especially in the low-income and $200000-$400000 ranges, which is negatively influencing employers trying to recruit the workers needed for their industries. Smith’s suggestions to solve these issues include both building new housing stock and rehabilitating existing homes.
About 50% of the homes in Marinette County were built between 1940 and 1950. The county has almost 18-thousand housing units in total, with 77% of them being owner-occupied and the other 23% occupied by renters.