Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway released the following statement in response to the Common Council’s approval of a zoning change for the property at 437-445 W Johnson Street:

I applaud the Common Council’s vote on the planned development. While I share the urgency to create more affordable housing, and specifically more affordable housing for students, preventing this development would have done nothing to advance that goal.

The proposed development meets the underlying code, the Downtown development guidelines and the existing height map. This development provides more than double the number of units currently on that site, and as we heard tonight the City needs to create more housing of every kind in order to meet our current growth.

The City has already taken a number of steps to encourage the building of thousands of housing units and hundreds of affordable housing units, including by:

  • updating City zoning codes to make it easier to build affordable housing or to add additional height to existing plans for affordable housing;
  • making it easier to build backyard cottages;
  • directly subsidizing affordable housing out of the City’s budget; and
  • working closely with partners to encourage housing production in underserved areas of Madison.

Investments through the City’s affordable housing initiative have helped build 27 developments with 2,362 total units, 1,839 of which are affordable (under 60% AMI).

I look forward to continuing to work with the Council, the University, and the full range of public and private partners to increase our supply of affordable housing, including affordable student housing, in the City.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.