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Work to do after Fair Housing Study for La Crosse released

Drew Kelly

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Some troubling and surprising results came from a Fair Housing Study for the City of La Crosse, La Crosse County and Monroe County.

One point from residents surveyed, put a dent in the theme that the city was an affordable place to live.

La Crosse Community Development Administrator Caroline Gregerson said it’s a narrative they must work to change

“For our lowest income residents, it is being increasingly difficult to find the quality of housing people are looking for, at a price they can afford” Gregerson said.

The study states that a person living in La Crosse, and making minimum wage, would have to work 84 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

The quality of some of those apartments is also problematic, according to the study, which Gregerson said might just be the norm for the type of residents occupying them.

“La Crosse is a very old city, but we’re also a college town,” she said. “Being a college town means, sometimes, you end up with rental units that are in very poor condition.”

Minority homeownership, particularly among the black community is a high priority.

Within the census, there were no black homeowners.

Gregerson said they are relying on La Crosse’s city council, as well as La Crosse and Monroe County boards, to approve the study.

Then they will get into work groups and try to create legislation to solve some of the issues that were raised.