MDC breaks ground on The Graaskamp

The lack of affordable, workforce housing is the most pressing economic stability issue for individuals and families in Madison, and more help is on the way after Madison Development Corp. broke ground on The Graaskamp, its 44-unit affordable housing building on East Washington Avenue. The facility is being developed in partnership with the City of Madison, Dane County Housing Authority, United Way of Dane County, and Monona Bank.

MDC is addressing the issue by buying, developing, and managing additional workforce housing units in Madison. The Graaskamp, named after the late UW-Madison Real Estate Professor James A. Graaskamp, will include units ranging in size from efficiency to three bedrooms. As a tribute to Graaskamp, who was stricken by polio at the age of 17 and confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life, all first-floor units will feature universal design.

Universal design will make the units “more welcoming, functional and appealing to so many more people in Madison at different ages, stages and abilities,” notes Madison area universal design expert Jane Nemke Earl.

MDC has also partnered with UW Landscape Professor Jim LaGro and his students to help redesign and update Graaskamp Park. The park was dedicated to Graaskamp in 1989 and was the first fully accessible park in Wisconsin. It is expected to be re-opened in fall 2020, pending a successful capital campaign.