A place to call home

More than 100 people gathered in the Mid-State Technical College Wisconsin Rapids campus gym to engage in a conversation about housing solutions.

Wood County’s first-ever Housing Summit shares solutions to housing challenges.

More than 100 people gathered on March 7, 2024, for Wood County’s first Housing Summit held at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids. The Summit, planned by members of the Wood County Housing Task Force, was a direct response to the calls for action and conversation surrounding affordable and accessible housing throughout the County and Central Wisconsin.

Randy Meyer, Mayor of Sheboygan Falls (with his guide dog Hank) speaks about the Founders’ Pointe project.

The day featured a packed agenda with best practices from other communities, a legislative panel, and an action planning session to generate key takeaways. The Summit program may be viewed here: Housing Summit Program.

Extension Wood County Community Development Educator Kayla Rombalski co-led the event with Kayleigh Mengel of the Wood County Health Department and the support of the entire Wood County Housing Task Force. Summit attendees were supportive of the event, offering many positive comments and feedback.

Angel Laidlaw, President/CEO of Centergy, moderates a legislative panel with three state legislators.

As the Wood County Housing Task Force compiles the Summit evaluations and the responses from the action planning session we are working through the next steps and know that our housing conversation will not stop after one event. We’ve heard that attendees want a more focused programs specific to affordable/income-eligible housing, increased access to housing for marginalized populations, more developers and builders at the table, and more opportunities to learn about successful housing strategies other communities have deployed such as accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or land trusts.

It is clear from the Summit and feedback we’ve received that housing is an important topic, not only in Wood County, but across the State and the Nation.

Special thanks go to the Wood County Housing Summit’s emcees and all presenters and to the sponsors of the summit; Wood County, Healthy People Wood County, Extension Wood County, The Mission Coffee, LLC., Centergy, and Mid-State Technical College.

We welcome additional involvement on the Wood County Housing Task Force. If you are interested in joining, please contact Kayla Rombalski (krombalski@wisc.edu, 715-421-8445) or Kayleigh Mengel (kayleigh.mengel@woodcountywi.gov, 715-421-8926).  
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