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Eau Claire City Council asks for help solving affordable housing shortage

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Eau Claire residents desperate for more affordable housing got to weigh in on the issue and their ideas for solutions Monday.

Roughly 40 percent of households in Eau Claire County make above the poverty level, but below the average cost of living.

A big piece in fixing that comes from affordable housing. Monday, Eau Claire City council held a public hearing to get input on possible solutions.

It was a packed house as seats filled quickly and folks walking in were guided into an overflow room.

Powerful stories were told in the council chambers. The general theme: downtown Eau Claire has made many improvements, but housing needs to be a priority.

“I look at all the money that we’re pouring into our downtown, it’s a good thing for our city and I understand that,” said Lee Hennick, who lives in Eau Claire. “But we’ve seemed to have left people on the wayside and in my business you never leave people behind.”

Data shows two out of five Eau Claire County families struggle financially. United Way data shows a family of four needs to make almost $63,000 a year to live comfortably here.

Acting City Council President Andrew Werthmann told News 18 he hopes city council can start moving more resolutions to assist this affordable housing demand.

You can submit your ideas on this topic by emailing any one of the council members. You can find contact info here.

Justin Esterly

Justin Esterly is our Daybreak meteorologist. Justin joined WQOW News 18 in May 2018.

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