Housing shortage impacting employment in Oneida County

People looking to move for work in Oneida Co. are having challenges finding a place to live
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 7:30 PM CDT
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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAW) - Buying a home can be a hassle, especially when there’s a lack of available housing. A shortage of homes in Oneida County is making it harder for people to get jobs in the area.

The lack of housing in the Oneida County area has caused both rental and single-family homes to be in short supply.

Eric Sonnleitner, a planner for the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, said, “One of the causes of a lack of single-family homes is just kind of, over the past decade and a half, there’s been a huge decline in the number of homes being built.”

“Sales have continued to go down, and it’s really, 100% because of low inventory,” said Cecily Dawson, a sales agent and broker for Lakeland Realty.

She added that there are currently just 49 single-family homes for sale in Oneida County. “When I took out the ones that were higher end, so say $500,000 and less, we’re looking at about 32 homes. That’s in all of Oneida County,” said Dawson.

There’s also a lack of housing diversity in the county as well. “There aren’t any duplexes for sale, nor are there multi families,” said Dawson.

The lack of housing is also having an effect on the workforce. People are ready to take on jobs, but they are unable to find a place to stay. “I would get calls constantly, do you know of a rental? I’ve heard about a job, I’d like to take this job but I can’t find a place to live,” said Dawson.

Housing experts said building more homes and adding additional housing can help the cause. Sonleitner said another solution would be to add multifamily homes to take some of the pressure off of the single-family market.