Housing Advocacy Committee
Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities, in partnership with the Realtor’s Association of NE WI, has a joint Housing Advocacy Committee which meets monthly to discuss regulatory issues facing the industry and meets with municipal officials regarding local housing and development issues.
Housing Advocacy Committee Mission Statement: Engage the real estate industry, building industry and government officials in efforts to promote public policy that furthers quality housing and land development practices that are efficient, responsible and affordable.
The committee monitors and provides input to local municipalities on:
Appleton Building Inspection Survey
The Housing Advocacy Committee worked with the City of Appleton to heighten awareness of delays and inconsistencies within the building inspections department regarding application of building codes to new construction and various home improvement projects. This resulted in a survey initiated by the City’s Inspection Department for which the public could provide anonymous feedback regarding both negative and positive experiences. These responses are then used to help in the evaluation of staff performance.
Appleton Special Assessment Policies
The Housing Advocacy Committee was successful in lowering the interest charged to homeowners for deferred special assessments from 9% to a percent that is based upon the prime interest rate at the time of the special assessment. In addition, the Association was successful in advocating that the City of Appleton adopt a policy by which homeowners of new construction would be assessed for costs of road installation rather than being billed by the developer. This allowed for better transfer of information regarding future assessments during real estate transactions as well as providing homeowners the additional option of paying in installments rather than one lump sum.
NEWSC Model Stormwater Ordinance
The Housing Advocacy Committee worked closely with the Northeast Wisconsin Stormwater Consortium regarding their proposed Model Stormwater Ordinance for communities throughout NE WI. The committee advocated to both NEWSC and participating communities to refrain from adopting provisions that were stricter than the state requirements which would negatively impact private property rights and unnecessarily increase the costs of housing.
Outagamie County Airport Overlay District
The Housing Advocacy Committee fought against zoning department policy changes that prohibited stormwater ponds within the airport overlay district; advocating for continued used of best management practices for waterfowl deterrents outlined in the FAA manual and utilized by other airports throughout the state of Wisconsin and the country.
Outagamie County Plat Approval Process
The Housing Advocacy Committee worked with various Outagamie County representatives to develop a framework which more clearly outlined the process and timeline for Outagamie County’s plat approval process. The new policy outlines what benchmarks County staff will be held accountable to, and offers some clarity for those seeking preliminary plat approval regarding what to expect through the process.
Reviewing and monitoring communities’ comprehensive plans, zoning and subdivision ordinances.
Members testified at the State Capitol on two bills in the legislature, SB 600 and AB 547.
Educating local communities about the need to increase the supply of available housing, as well as the affordability of housing for all income levels, and how local regulations and fees impact the housing supply.
In 2022, Outagamie County initiated a process to develop a housing strategy focused on supporting housing production, housing affordability, and the diversity of housing options in the Fox Cities/Greater Outagamie County region. Recommendations in the strategy were established by a housing advisory task force composed of municipal representatives, housing service providers, home builders, Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities, Realtors Association of NE WI, and other stakeholders from across our region. The strategy is intended to promote a healthier housing system by catalyzing intergovernmental and public-private collaboration throughout our region. Click to view the final Housing Strategy for Fox Cities and Greater Outagamie County.
If you are a member of HBAFC and would like to join this committee, contact CEO Heidi Zich.
If you are a member of RANW and would like to join this committee, contact Government Affairs Director Jennifer Sunstrom.