“I miss so much time with (my daughter) simply because I don’t have the space,” said Andrews. “It’s really depressing and stressful.”
One of the biggest hurdles he’s encountered is his creditworthiness, which he said isn’t the best. Add to that his salary: he earns too much to qualify for rental subsidies or low-income homes, but not enough to be able to afford the new luxury homes that are coming on the market.
“What I find out is that there are all of these great apartments out there, but they are all low-income places and I make too much to qualify for low-income but not enough to get a place my own, ”said Andrews.
The Wisconsin Brokers’ Association estimates that new home construction in the state’s 20 largest counties was nearly 20,000 units below demand from 2006 to 2017 to keep pace with demand. Recent estimates suggest that northeast Wisconsin will need to build hundreds of rental units and homes each year to keep up with population growth by 2040.
Alone in the Green Bay area, a Housing market study 2020 noted that the city will need to build up to 7,400 rental units and 9,100 condominiums by 2040 to meet projected housing needs. Half of the rental units and 20% of the condominiums should be affordable for low-income households.
Luxury apartment construction has not gone unnoticed by stakeholders and individuals looking for better accommodations to fit their budget.
In the Green Bay area, newer apartment buildings start at around $ 900 for a studio and $ 1,600 for a two-bedroom. Apartments in the Green Bay Packers’ near-completed Titletown Flats building start at $ 1,395 per month for a 438-square-foot studio apartment and a maximum of $ 3,495 per month for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit. In Appleton’s River Heath project, a one-bedroom unit costs $ 1,275 while a two-bedroom unit starts at $ 1,800.
“It makes no sense. Why are we building all these nice looking apartments when we have people?Living on sidewalks and in the street and in the park? ”asked Eva Cruz of Casa ALBA Melanie, a resource center established in 2012 to help the Green Bay area’s Latino community connect with services and support programs.