The intent of this element is to provide basic information on the housing stock in the community. It analyzes trends, assesses needs, and identifies potential problems regarding accommodating the varied housing needs. For the purpose of this plan housing refers to the “actual building” while household refers to the “family structure living” in a housing unit. Because the term “households” refers to the number of people in a structure, housing and households are not a one to one comparison.
Assess local housing conditions, age, structural value and occupancy characteristics.
Review local, state and federal policies and programs that:
· Meet the needs of persons of all income levels, age groups and those with special needs.
· Promote the availability of land for development of low and moderate income housing.
· Maintain or rehabilitate housing stock
Selected Survey Results
Questions from the first landowner survey that concerned housing were:
Questions in the second landowner survey that were pertinent to the Housing element are:
5. Our township is unique in that it has a large area of flat/open land ideal for raising agricultural crops. The land use map that has been developed by the agriculture subcommittee indicates 70% or more of the land in our township is currently used for agriculture. Would you like to see ordinances enacted to limit residential development of agricultural land in the Town of Spring Brook? Yes/No
Yes – 141 (64%) No – 66 (30%) No Response – 13 (6%)
8. In the first survey, the majority of respondents indicated a desire for minimum lot size limits of 5 acres or less. Please circle as many of the following choices that describe your interest in a lot size limit:
A. Concern for potential groundwater contamination (Some feel dense residential development utilizing septic systems can have a negative effect on groundwater)
110 Responses out of 220
B. Minimize land consumption/Sprawl 119 Responses out of 220
C. I prefer no limit 41 Responses out of 220
D. Maintain the rural character of the township 147 Responses out of 220
E. Privacy through larger lots 96 Responses out of 220
The Landowner Surveys indicate that citizens are concerned about controlling housing development and lot size. Currently, no control exists but additional control is desired. The issue comes down to what kind of control should be instituted. The options include:
The housing characteristics of the Town of Spring Brook are important elements of the land use plan. The location of housing determines the cost of many public services and facilities. In addition, housing characteristics are related to the social and economic conditions of the community’s residents. The need for housing also exerts pressure to convert agricultural land to other uses.
The age of the housing stock is another indicator of its relative condition. 32.2% of Spring Brook’s structures were built before 1940 with 39.4% built from 1940 to 1980.
Source: 2004 Dunn County Annual report
In early 2004, a windshield survey was conducted to perform a visual assessment of the housing stock. Housing units were given a numerical rating with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best condition. The following are the results of the survey;
The rating system was based on
1= Unlivable/broken down
Average Rating for mobile home = 2.69
Average Rating for stick built home = 3.31
Units in Structure
General rule is that overall vacancy rate should not be more than 3%. This figure should provide adequate housing choices for consumers.
Low and Moderate Income Housing
The number of low and moderate-income households is important in projecting future housing needs. The classification “low and moderate income households” includes all households that earn an amount equal to or less than 80% of the county median household income of $38,753 in 2000. In the Town of Spring Brook, approx. 36% of households fall in this category. Overall in Spring Brook, 2.3% of all households are below the poverty level, with 13.6% of those headed by females, no husband present.
As new housing becomes necessary, town officials must weigh its effect on other elements of the plan, such as transportation and utilities and issues such as density, decent and affordable housing, and repair and maintenance of older housing. Affordable housing, as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is a housing unit in which essential housing costs do not exceed 30% of the household income. For example, owner-occupied households are considered to be affordable if the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance costs do not exceed 30% of the household income. Rental housing is considered affordable if the rental and utility costs do not exceed 30%.
According to the latest census survey 90% of our residents occupy affordable housing units. Affordable housing needs are being met and the town will continue to let market conditions fill the demand for housing.
Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income
In 2000, there were 489 housing units in Spring Brook,
468 of which are occupied. Housing
in Spring Brook consists mostly of single-family dwellings. In 2000
there were 417 single family units, 62 mobile homes, and 10 units classified
as 2-4 family units. In 2000, 74 of the housing units were rented (16%)
and 394 were owner occupied. The
median value of owner occupied housing was $91,000. The comparable figure for
A figure closely tied to housing units is the number
of households in the township. In 2000 the number of households in the
Town of Spring Brook was 468. 80.3%
of these were family households and 19.7% were non-family households. The average household size was 2.82 overall.
Average size for family households was 3.15.
Rural townships such as Spring Brook do not have the resources available to assist in providing ranges of housing choices for all income levels, for all age groups, and for persons with special needs. However, this does not mean that the town cannot promote outside services to meet these needs. Locally, the Dunn County Housing Authority has programs to provide assistance to lower-income families. The following State and Federal programs and sources are for those with special housing needs to use as resources.
Federal and State Housing Programs
Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Housing and Intergovernmental Relations.
Federal Home Loan Bank of
Development/Redevelopment and Maintenance/Rehabilitation
Maintaining or redevelopment of housing stock
in the rural environment is more a function of supply and demand, since
local (town) governments in
Housing data indicates that housing supply is in reasonably good condition. Most of the units are owner occupied. The exceptionally high median housing value for the township indicates that there are also many units on the upper end of the scale. Currently there seems to be sufficient low-income housing.
The data also indicates that the Town will continue to grow at a rate of approximately 11 households a year assuming this trend remains the same. However, newly, planned housing developments will change that rate considerably and could be an indicator of future housing developments in the Town. At any rate, we know there will be a continued need for varied types of housing. Determining housing needs is based on population projections, household size figures and growth rates. If new housing becomes necessary, town officials must weigh its effect on other elements of the plan, such as transportation and utilities.
By 2025 the town is expected to increase in population by 302 people or will grow by 22.9%. Given the current household size and the projected populations by 2025 the town is expecting to see the number of households increase from 468 to 614 or an increase of 31.2%.
Rate of housing growth in Spring Brook is constant,
like the population. As with
population, this could change if growth in towns adjacent to Menomonie