Can Be a Win-Win
Workforce housing can be a win-win for Madison. West Sussex Place on New Road is a great illustration of how quality affordable housing, if done right, can benefit our town.
I am familiar with West Sussex Place because my in-laws own a (market rate) unit there. West Sussex Place is a high-quality, well-built project containing 24 condominium units built in 2007 by two of Madison’s most respected residential developers. Eight of the units are affordable, meaning that they are limited to owners who make either 60- or 80 percent of the area median income at time of purchase. In the 15 years since the project was completed, I believe only one or two of the affordable units has changed hands, providing stability for both those residents and our community. Further, most if not all of these residents have longtime ties to Madison, and I know many of them personally.
While not all inclusive, the demographic profile fits what you would hope for in an affordable project: young families starting out who can’t yet afford an average priced home in Madison; divorced parents who are able to remain close to their children; essential workers like nurses, public safety, and teachers who are able to live close to where they work; and retired couples looking to downsize and remain in their community.
The most recent sale that occurred this fall illustrates this point perfectly. An elderly couple sold their single-family home in Madison and purchased an affordable unit at West Sussex Place, allowing them to remain in the community where they raised their family and spent most of their adult lives. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Republican Justin Murphy serves on the Board of Finance.