The shortage of affordable housing in the City of Marinette has been a priority item that has been kicked around at city hall for several years. Prospective developers have poked around the community, preliminary plans have been submitted, questions and answers have exchanged hands and some serious discussions have taken place. Some housing projects have moved forward, but still, a dire need exists.

Earlier this month the Marinette City Council took a major step forward when it authorized the hiring of the Cedar Corporation, a housing development consulting firm with headquarters in Menomonie, Wis. The 45-year-old firm also has offices in Green Bay, Madison and Cedarburg. The company proposed putting together a project team to assist the city in that task at a cost not to exceed $24,000.

According to the agreement, the company will help the city identify sites that will be a good fit for housing development. Developing a strategy and proceeding to chart a plan that covers a slew of details involved in such an undertaking is one of the crucial steps.

“Housing is very important and the City of Marinette needs to get some projects going,” Mayor Steve Genisot advised the city council. Genisot has been an aggressive community leader in efforts to get the housing shortage woes fixed.

Seth Hudson, the senior manager for economic and community development at Cedar Corporation, indicated the initial plan is aimed at nurturing potential growth in workforce, affordable and marketing housing in the Marinette area.

We like the way the Cedar Corporation is attacking the housing shortage problem. The company is developing a strategy plan that looks promising for a successful outcome. The city has experienced too many disappointments along the way. In the meantime, the housing shortage has worsened.

The City of Marinette has a solid industrial base and an ongoing retail network, a combination that will appeal to people who want to relocate here because of job opportunities, a strong education forte, a diversified recreation program and other advantages beneficial to the quality of life.

We are convinced Cedar Corporation will produce a strategy plan that will provide fresh hope for our city to fill an urgent need in its inventory.