CARW partnered with Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) and the City of Sheboygan on October 6th for the Sheboygan County Economic Development conference. The partnership was inspired by a Housing Opportunity Grant from NAR (National Association of REALTORS). NAR has identified the need for workforce and affordable housing as critical and supports associations in their efforts to help educate and bring light to programs working towards solutions. More than 40 developers and investors attended a full day event that included bus tours, boat tours and presentations from developers, owners and CEOs from the area. CARW President, Tracy Johnson moderated an afternoon panel on the SCEDC’s Forward Fund – a public / private partnership fund aimed at supporting the development of entry level housing to attract workforce for the area’s many manufacturing and service companies. The panel included Don Hammond, SCEDC Chair; Chad Pelishek, City of Sheboygan Director of Planner, and Brian Doudna, SCEDC Executive Director. Topics of the discussion included how the fund was developed, outlining the need for workforce housing, other tools used to develop housing, barriers for development, and how private entities came together to work towards a solution. This is just a first step and we continue to examine ways that communities are developing tools and programs to address workforce and housing needs. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know. Workforce housing will be part of the State advocacy agenda and we are looking for individuals to engage.