The Village of DeForest has announced the creation of a Community Development Authority (CDA) which became active on Sept. 1.
By Wisconsin statutes, the creation of a CDA effectively merges the village’s Public Housing Authority and Redevelopment Authority and is made up of two village board trustees and five village residents appointed by Village President Judd Blau.
“Overall, the CDA will allow a more comprehensive look at redevelopment and housing in DeForest geared towards greater efficiency and coordination of our operations.” said President Blau.
One focus of the group will be to understand current and potential future DeForest housing needs. In conjunction with the village’s board and planning and zoning commission, the CDA will be examining the changing population characteristics, as well as the housing needs of seniors, low-income and disabled residents, and that of the local workforce.
Redevelopment opportunities for residential and commercial uses will also be on the group’s agenda. According to President Blau, “The creation of the CDA will enable a broader range of development options than either the Public Housing Authority or the Redevelopment Authority alone.”
Current landowners in areas previously identified as redevelopment areas have expressed interest in redevelopment, so the CDA will explore residential and commercial redevelopment opportunities in these areas and perhaps others.
To support redevelopment planning and implementation initiatives, the village board approved providing $10,000 of start-up funding to the CDA. These funds were included in the 2020 budget. Village President Judd Blau presented Acting CDA Chair Jane Cahill Wolfram with the preliminary funding for the new Community Development Authority in front of Village Hall on Thursday, Sept. 4.
The CDA was created just as the Village of DeForest also plans to update its Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan outlines the vision and direction for growth and development of the community. Some of the initiatives include: identifying areas for development and preservation over the next 20-plus years, recommending different types of land use for specific areas (including the downtown), identifying transportation, community facilities, and utilities to serve future land uses, and directing housing, industrial, and commercial investments. The Village of DeForest will begin engaging its residents and businesses in the Comprehensive Plan update this fall.
The members of the CDA were appointed by President Blau at the Village Board meeting held on August 4, 2020:
- Jane Cahill Wolfgram
- Jason Kramar
- Renae Buchheim
- Doug Wierzba
- Keith Manke
- Michael Welsh
- Nishant Upadhyay