Despite the city’s effort, Madison still lacks enough affordable housing

By Ellie Colbert

When Laura moved to Madison from Waukesha two years ago with her children, she came for the opportunities that a big city could provide. But first, Laura had to find housing.

“It was not the easiest,” Laura said. “For me, obviously with kids, it was finding a place that I could afford but that also has good schools and a good neighborhood.”

Laura spent three months looking for housing, and was on several waitlists before she “got lucky,” and a spot opened up with the same development company she lived within Waukesha.

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Redlining Map of Madison

By Ellie Colbert

In the 1930s and 40s, the federal agency Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), as a part of the New Deal, created ‘Residential Security Maps’ of major American cities. These maps color-coded neighborhoods based on racial demographics, local amenities and housing values. Green was for “best,” blue for “still desirable,” yellow for “definitely declining” and red for “hazardous.” 

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