Next Generation Housing

Contact Us

What do you think of when you picture the "American Dream?"

Photo of Red House

Over the last 30 years, housing costs have increased substantially, making it difficult for young professionals to purchase a first home.  Creating community driven neighborhoods with high quality homes built on low cost lots, will diversify the housing market within Washington County. The Next Generation Housing Initiative will fill the market void in our suburban/exurban communities, providing attainable quality housing opportunities throughout Washington County for our next generation workforce. One of the main goals for Next Generation Housing is to support investments in the housing stock and advance the quality of the neighborhoods in the County.

The Next Generation's Housing journey will look different than the preceding generation's. Community leaders, employers, and employees have long expressed concerns over the perceived housing inventory and attainability in Washington County. View the ArcGIS Storymap below created by Economic Development Washington County (EDWC) for a detailed analysis of workforce, population, household income, and the difficulties of purchasing a home in today's economy. EDWC Storymap (External Link)

County Executive Josh Schoemann explains the end goal for the new Community Development Department and Next Generation Housing Initiative to the Land Use and Planning Committee meeting on September 23, 2021.



On October 7th, Washington County hosted the Next Generation Housing Kick-off Event. During the kick-off, County Executive Josh Schoemann provided information on the new Community Development Department, introduced the Community Development Director and provided details what Next Generation Housing Initiative is trying to achieve. EDWC provided a presentation on a workforce study that was completed detailing the shortage in the workforce and the difficulties of purchasing a home in the County. Following the EDWC presentation, a panel of private sector businesses presented their perspective on the workforce shortage and housing shortage and gave their support for this new program. Lastly, there was closing remarks from the County Executive. The event had about 100 local government officials and private sector businesses in attendance. The two hour long Next Generation Housing Kick-Off Event livestream is below.

See the Next Generation Housing Event PowerPoint presentation

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) awarded Washington County $26 million in recovery funds for economic and community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that will be used to address the current and future issues pertaining to the declining workforce in Washington County. This funding will be utilized within the Community Development Department.

The Creation of the Next Generation Housing Coalition

The Community Development Department will work towards creating the Next Generation Housing Coalition comprised of local governments and key stakeholders. This Coalition will work together to overcome the barriers to Next Generation Housing and will be modeled after the Brownfields Site Redevelopment Coalition. 

Housing Opportunity Graphic


Use the links below to view research documents detailing the workforce and housing shortage occurring within the State of Wisconsin and the Country.

The Demographic Drought by Esmi and Ron Hetrick, et. al.

Falling Behind by Wisconsin Relators Association and Kurt Paulsen

If you would like more information relating to the Next Generation Housing Initiative, please contact Debora Sielski at [email protected].


Southern Housing Region Program