Gorman and Company on Tuesday officially opened Landsby Ridge, an affordable housing development in Mount Horeb four years in the making.
The $13.8 million development includes 14 one-bedroom, 25 two-bedroom, and seven three-bedroom units intended for families earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income, with five additional three-bedroom townhomes rented at market rate. All units are already occupied.
Village president Ryan Czyzewski said the development will fulfill about 25 percent of the village’s affordable housing needs.
“One of my priorities as village president is having housing options for our community. This is just one piece of the puzzle,” he said. “We have people who were living in the Karakahl (Hotel) … . we have people who commute 30 minutes, 45 minutes for an entry level wage job, because they can’t afford to live in town.”
He said the village board is looking into purchasing additional land for both park space and housing.
“And then it’s also just a matter of making this a welcoming community for these types of projects,” he said.
Financing for the project came from Associated Bank as well as Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) tax credits, Dane County Affordable Housing Development Fund, the Affordable Housing Program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and the Dane Workforce Housing Fund, which Gorman & Company Wisconsin Market President Ted Matkom called “the 11th hour savior,” coming through with a $500,000 loan to cover cost increases sparked by pandemic-driven inflation.
WHEDA CEO Elmer Moore was on hand for the unveiling.
“Housing is actually more than just a place for people to live. It’s about invigorating the economies of the communities where we build these units,” he said. “It’s about creating opportunity for kids to go to better schools, it’s about opportunity for businesses to grow with new employees, and also businesses to grow with new customers. And so I just want to remind you that not only are we celebrating the opening of these incredibly beautiful units that are affordable, which just means that they were made available to folks who make regular incomes, but we get to celebrate the arrival of new members of our community.”
He said affordable housing is as important in places like Mount Horeb – a small but growing village of about 7,700 in western Dane County – as in more urban centers.
“The reality is the housing crisis is very real and very present across the state from the sparsest most rural communities to the central city of Milwaukee,” he said. “This is just a fantastic example of what a beautiful resident focus facility can look like in one of our exurbs, or one of our smaller communities, near one of the large population centers. I would love to use this as an example and replicate and duplicate this 1000s of times across the state.”
Lieutenant Governor Sara Rodriguez echoed Moore’s sentiment, adding that affordable housing is key to developing Wisconsin’s workforce.
“Every place I go across the state of Wisconsin, people mention to me that there is a lack of housing,” she said. “Every business owner talks to me about it … they need workers to come in, and they don’t have places for them to live. And this is talking about rural communities up north, all the way down to the Milwaukee and Madison area. This is a problem all across Wisconsin.”
Gorman and Company, based in Oregon, Wisconsin, operates in eight states and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top “Affordable Housing Developers” by Affordable Housing Finance magazine for more than a decade, according to the company’s website.