Rising housing costs that are outpacing the ability of many to afford homes is prompting many community leaders across Wisconsin to think about ways to increase the availability of affordable housing.

A United Way of Wisconsin study released in 2018 revealed that 38 percent of Wisconsin residents struggle to afford basic living expenses, among them housing, reports the outlet.

The same study found that the number of state residents experiencing difficulty paying for housing and other expenses grew 5 percent since 2010.

Michael Basford, director of the state Interagency Council on Homelessness, sees the need growing beyond the state’s largest cities, he told Up North News.

“This is a statewide issue,” Basford said of affordable housing. “Everywhere I go when I travel across the state, whether I am in urban or rural areas, people tell me that housing costs are a concern,” especially in places where economic opportunities are limited.

Read more about the concerns for affordable housing in Wisconsin here.