You can help the Door County Community Foundation play a role in addressing affordable housing in the area. The organization announced this week the creation of the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation, a new 501 (c) (3) corporation governed by the foundation and NeighborWorks Green Bay to offer incentives to developers to build affordable housing options in the area. The new corporation is the result of two years of work with business leaders, housing developers, government officials, and local citizens to address the housing concern that is limiting the workforce Door County can tap into to fill positions. The idea is to help these projects get off the ground and fill in the funding gaps that have discouraged affordable housing projects in Door County in the past. Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority have already pledged their support with $1.5 million matching grant and the Door County Board of Supervisors approved another $500,000 in hopes of getting the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation off the ground. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy never imagined a community foundation would get into real estate, but addressing the challenges the area faces is why they are there in the first place.
The goal is to raise another $2 million beyond the WHEDA match so the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation can reach a total loan pool of $5 million. Bicoy says the fund could evolve over time to potentially help prospective homeowners with down payments, a housing-rehab loan program, and employer-assisted homeownership programs. You can learn more about the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation at BuildDoorCounty.org.