Walker says it's working...
Madison's apartment vacancy rate hit its lowest level in at least 16 years, as economic challenges have forced thousands of Madison residents to seek affordable units. Only 2.6 percent of the city's apartment units were available in the third quarter … Vacancies have dwindled nearly every year since 2005, when 6.4 percent of units didn't have occupants.
The high demand is causing rent prices to increase and allowing landlords to turn more potential tenants away, said Brenda Konkel, executive director at the Tenant Resource Center in Madison. "It's probably the worst I've seen it," she said. "For people who have had problems with unemployment, who don't have steady income, for people who have any type of blemish on their rental record, it's become incredibly difficult."
The vacancy rates are all below 1 percent in the 53726 and 53715 zip codes on the near West Side … Many people who can't afford to buy a home are staying in apartments, while banks turn others seeking a mortgage away. Many others facing foreclosures return to rentals, and developers have been unwilling to add affordable units into the market.