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Grantsburg Revitalization Operation (GRO) with the help of the Burnett County Administration committee put together a housing study. The study focused on the Grantsburg School District.

The study states, “The objectives of this study are a better understanding of how the Village and Grantsburg Area housing market work, and recommendations to improve that function. More specifically, the Village wants to be sure that its housing market is meeting the needs of current and prospective residents, especially for the benefit of employers as they work to attract and retain talent.”

It was prepared by MSA Professional Services.

County Chairman Don Taylor spoke briefly about the housing study.

“This study highlighted what we already knew,” Taylor said. “There’s a need for affordable housing in Grantsburg and across the county.”

The study says about 80% of housing in the Grantsburg area is owner-occupied and 20% renter-occupied, according to data collected from 2013-2017 by the American Community Survey as part of the U.S. Census Bureau. However, in the Village of Grantsburg between 55-67% of housing is owner-occupied.

There are a number of housing type gaps in the Grantsburg area.

  • Inadequate supply of owner-occupied units, at all price points.
  • Inadequate supply of desirable owner-occupied housing under $200,000.
  • Inadequate supply of acceptable rental units at all price points.
  • Inadequate supply of housing for senior citizens.

The study also identified national trends affecting Grantsburg housing. This includes household size, house size, aging population, housing affordability, planning and development practices.

There are stricter lending regulations, potential first-time home buyers have immense student loan debt and that is leading to delayed home ownership.

Goals from study

The study laid out a number of goals to develop funding to address the housing issues. These include creating an owner-occupied and rental housing rehab and development revolving loan fund.

The 30-page study concludes with a final goal of making Grantsburg a great place to live.

“Outside of the existing housing stock, anecdotal evidence from the interview points to a lack of amenities and things to do within the community as another common reason people choose to live elsewhere,” the report states. “A vibrant community can help attract and retain workers, especially young professionals who are drawn to places that offer amenities such as restaurants, opportunities for recreation and other activities.”