City of Prairie du Chien and Couleecap break ground on new workforce housing development

Four homes will be on the market for families who make up to 80 percent of Crawford County's median income

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (WKBT) — A new workforce housing development is coming soon to Prairie du Chien.

City leaders and Couleecap helped break ground on the project Tuesday.

In a community that draws lots of workers, affordable housing available for working families isn’t up to speed.

“We want to be able to have more people actually come to town, live and spend their money in town,” Mayor Dave Hemmer said.

About 3,000 people drive to Prairie du Chien every day for work, he said.

“Some people commute as much as an hour away,” Hemmer said.

The big reason why the city is partnering with Couleecap, so hard-working families who work there can live there.

“That creates more jobs, more business,” Hemmer said.

Local and state leaders put shovels in the ground on the city’s newest workforce housing project.

The development on Brunson Street will have four homes, said Couleecap Executive Director Hetti Brown.

They will be on the market for families making up to 80 percent of the county’s median income.

“So for a family of four, that’s a little over $54,000 a year,” Brown said.

Altogether, the houses cost more than $1 million to build, she said.

Couleecap received nearly $483,000 in grant money from the state to start the project.

The city of Prairie du Chien and other organizations also contributed.

“Affordable housing in a community is really the bedrock of a thriving community,” Brown said.

Giving everyone the opportunity to succeed.

“So, it’s definitely a win-win,” Hemmer said.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.8 percent in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number is similar to Crawford County’s overall unemployment rate.

Construction is targeted for completed by this fall, after which the houses will go on the market, Brown said.

Couleecap will provide the home buyers down payment and closing cost assistance, Brown said.

The new homes will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full basement and garage.

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