Culver’s Affordable Housing Project Works Through Vicious Circle

The Town of Culver is still loosely working to attract affordable housing to the lake community.

Major employers provided demographic data about their employees to the Town in the hopes of better assembling data to present to developers. Next on the list is conducting a market analysis to show developers whether a strong demand exists for affordable housing in Culver.

Town Council President Ginny Bess Munroe says data is key.

“What do we need? Is it 24 [units], is it 10? What income levels? What’s the target? I mean, I know we’ve talked about it in all those meetings, but to get a market analysis seems like a good place to start,” says Munroe.

Few grant opportunities exist in the community unless the development is income-based.

Still, members of the Town Council showed interest in providing incentives to employers, such as: property tax levy abatements.

Current estimates put the cost of a market analysis between $6-thousand and $12-thousand. Members of the Culver Town Council, however, were concerned with conducting the study prior to having attractive land to present to developers.

Culver Town Manager Jonathan Leist says any abatements could be conditional.

“The Council would say ‘yes, we would consider that’ but we need this many units and rent has to be within this percentage of the market rate if it’s not income based,” says Leist.

The Town is developing a list of properties to examine the ease with which entry-level housing could be connected to existing utility lines. Preliminary discussions are also taking place to annex land lying to Culver’s northwest – which has been mentioned in the past as a possible development site.

The Affordable Housing Committee asked that the Town Council approve a modest budget for conducting the study. The Council agreed that more time was needed before finalizing any figures.