UW-Whitewater to offer housing to employees
The university’s foundation intends to use a recent $1 million gift of real estate to provide housing for faculty and staff members and their families.
The university, which is about halfway between Madison and Milwaukee, often struggles to get its employees to live in Whitewater, said Jon Enslin, president of the foundation.
“We need this,” he said. “This will help us recruit good-quality faculty and administrators to the university.”
Jim and Julie Caldwell donated 23 parcels of land to the foundation. The lots are in a new subdivision northwest of the UW-Whitewater campus.
“It’s a real pleasure for us to be able to do this,” said Jim Caldwell, president of First Citizens Bank in Whitewater. “It’s been a long-term goal of our community as well as the university to provide for housing flexibility for new faculty to come and live in Whitewater.”
Enslin said the foundation still is working out the details of how it will use the land. He said the foundation might build homes on the lots to rent to faculty and staff, or it might lease the land to employees to build their own homes.
Enslin said the majority of faculty and staff members, who often look for temporary housing upon starting at the university, live outside the city because most rental properties are geared toward students, not adults or young families. He said many employees find places in Janesville, Madison or Milwaukee and wind up settling in those cities because they become vested in those communities.
“They don’t become ingrained in the Whitewater community,” he said. “If they become part of the community, then it’s more difficult for them to leave.
“Whitewater isn’t just a place for them to work; it’s a place where they are involved and invested.”