Door County has an affordable housing challenge

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Financial Partnership

For the Door County Community to thrive...

there must be affordable homes.

For too many working residents of Door County, finding a home is a challenge. Traditionally a popular tourist destination and second-home market, Door County offers our working families what are sometimes unsurmountable obstacles to home ownership. Year-round residents have had to compete with second-home seekers for housing. Local businesses have struggled to find seasonal help due to a shortage of short-term rental options. In more recent years, increased job growth, increased tourism, and a population aging more quickly than the rest of the state have compounded the challenge.

Door County’s shortage of housing for working households and seasonal workers, as quantified in the 2019 housing study, presents a serious threat to the preservation of the county’s character, economy, and vitality. Door County is aging much faster than the rest of the state and country, yet younger people are not moving to the county, at least in part due to the lack of affordable housing options. This age imbalance is unsustainable and leads to inadequate human resources for essential services.

Our work helps bridge the gap between a market priced home and home ownership for working families. On one side of that gap is property values that are out of reach for many working families, coupled with an alarmingly low inventory of modestly priced homes. On the other side of the gap is the modest income of many who live and work, people who are vital to our quality of life and our community’s well-being.

A Place of Our Own

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A community partner for lasting affordability.

Here's how Door County Housing Partnership hopes to make a difference:

Supporting Organizations

Gifts up to $250

Anschutz Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

Bob the Painter

Beth Coleman, In honor of The Garden Lady’s 2022 Clients

Door Guide Publishing

Melville Auto Repair, Inc.

On Deck Clothing

Starboard Brewing Company LLC


Gifts, $251 to $500

Great Northern Construction, Inc. – Heidi & Scott Bader

Peninsula Pulse

Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church

True North Real Estate

Gifts, $501 to $1000

Marissa Downs/Mosaic Ventures

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Gifts, $5001 to $10,000

Noon Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County


Associated Bank Fund at Greater Green Bay Community Foundation

United Way of Door County

How can we help?


Frequently Asked Questions

The new homes and apartments are fulfilling needs of seasonal residents, retirees and others, but the pricing is based on market conditions which is generally higher than our year round workforce can afford. A critical part of Door County’s future is attracting and retaining individuals and families who want to put down permanent roots, strengthening our community.
The houses we are proposing are specifically for our workforce who support our economic infrastructure. They are teachers, nurses, police, hospitality workers, nursing assistants, social workers. These people are essential to our welfare. They are eligible for mortgages, but not mortgages large enough to purchase market priced homes.

There is a disconnect between market rate and year-round workforce income.  If 30-35% of gross  income is required to cover a home mortgage and associated expenses such as real estate taxes and insurance so that they have enough left over to cover health care, child care, food and the expenses of life, the price of new or quality older homes is too high in Door County due to demand from vacation home buyers and higher material costs.  Without subsidies of $60,000 – $75,000 per home many year-round workforce incomes will not, with 30-35% of their income be able to cover the cost of a mortgage and other associated expenses with whatever are the interest rates over the longer term where we want our homes to be affordable. 

No. Subsidies are obtained primarily through private donors and other special programs. For instance, we have received land through the cooperation of the County of Door and the City of Sturgeon Bay as well as a private donor.
No. Applicants must be able to attain a mortgage on their own. They may not own other homes or properties. They must live in Door County a minimum of 10 months per year and be part of the year round workforce.
No. The critical component of the Housing Trust is that we retain ownership of the land and through certain resale stipulations the homes will always remain affordable, no matter how many owners inhabit a house over time.

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