Demand for Sheboygan housing not slowing down

Posted at 10:17 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 23:17:27-04

It's a problem, but a good problem. The City of Sheboygan is dealing with a potential housing crisis and the demand for new places to live isn't slowing down as employers continue to recruit new workers to the area. 

"There's definitely more housing needed in this community," Chad Pelishek, the director of planning and development for the City of Sheboygan, said. 

We spoke with city leaders two months ago when they were still waiting for some of the new housing to become available. 

"We don't want to overbuild, we don't want these things to sit vacant," he said. "But we're still hearing from employers like the Kohler company, which is the largest employer in the county...they have 300 openings and housing continues to be their number one challenge." 

Jane Siepel has lived in Sheboygan a long time. 

"I just turned 69 two weeks ago and I've been here all my life," she said. 

After living in houses and a condo, she recently decided to move into one of Sheboygan's newest apartment buildings. 

"I didn't want any more responsibilities," she said. "It's just modern, it's all new." 

Her building isn't even completely finished and city leaders say it's already 50 percent occupied. Two other new apartment buildings are already 100 percent full. 

Pelishek says several new projects are breaking ground soon, a mix between luxury and affordable apartments. He says they hope in the next couple of years, the housing availability will meet the need in the county. 

Until then, he says people like Jane Siepel are helping the problem, maybe without even knowing it. 

"You've got these empty nesters moving into these apartments but it's creating opportunity for someone else to purchase houses in the neighborhoods where families want to be," he said. 

Employment numbers going back to 2011 show Sheboygan County has the strongest employment growth along Lake Michigan. Officials say there are 3,000 jobs currently available in the county.