A $10 million program from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to address the state’s shortage of rural affordable workforce housing is moving forward with the selection of Marinette County as one of three pilot communities to be part of that effort. The funds from WHEDA come in the form of technical expertise and new financing tools, though the agency notes it will also require the commitment of many public, private and nonprofit partners working together to turn the tide on housing issues in rural communities like Marinette County. Marinette County Development and Tourism Director Jennifer Short says the local pilot design team consists of 12 members representing many facets of the housing equation.

The pilot selection process was rigorous and highly competitive with thirteen applicants vying for the opportunity. WHEDA representatives say the Marinette County pilot team demonstrated a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the community while highlighting efforts to build momentum around the housing issue. In addition to Marinette County the pilot process will include Chequamegon Bay and Door County. The Marinette County pilot program kicks off in the summer of 2021.