Time and Place

The Innovative Cities Lecture Series
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Location: Architecture and Urban Planning Building 345

The Cost of Living: Milwaukee County’s Rental Housing Trends and Challenges” presentation by Yaidi Cancel Martinez, UW-Madison PhD Candidate – Urban and Regional Planning
Graduate Research Fellow – Institute for Research on Poverty.

Lecture Summary

Yaidi will present key findings from her recent report on challenges/opportunities to rental housing affordability in the Greater Milwaukee Area. The report assesses the rental housing landscape in the county, comparing affordability throughout Wisconsin and peer counties nationally.

Although the issue presents itself in different ways and at varying scales from county to county, low incomes—as opposed to high rental prices—appear to be the most common root problem in Milwaukee County. However, Milwaukee County is not alone in this challenge; rather, it is one of five counties in Wisconsin where over 50% of renter households are “rent burdened.”


Yaidi Cancel Martinez is a PhD candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, expected to graduate this year. As a native of Puerto Rico with passion for urban planning, health, and social justice, Yaidi holds a versatile research and work experience ranging from environmental health and policy design to housing-related cost burden issues. Her current research seeks to understand further the interconnections between disparities of housing access and immediate built environment quality as mechanisms of exposures influencing health outcomes.

In partnership with Community Advocates’ Public Policy Institute, Yaidi currently assists in the Healthy Housing Initiative which seeks to improve housing affordability, quality and stability, and health in Wisconsin. She is also a graduate research fellow at the Institute for Research in Poverty at UW-Madison.

Formerly, she worked as a research fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Forum in Milwaukee. Her work at the Forum culminated in the publication of The Cost of Living, a major report that received widespread attention among community leaders and in the local news media. She also contributed analysis to Paying the Rent, a short follow-up research that examined rental housing affordability throughout Wisconsin.

As a major social determinant of health, housing affordability, quality and stability continue to be important topics under debate. Upon completing her PhD, Yaidi hopes to continue expanding her research portfolio integrating urban planning and public health disciplines to inform policy practices relevant to housing, advance social equity, and improve quality of life.

Please RSVP to sbaile@uwm.edu if you plan on attending!
Pizza will be served, but you will need to provide your own beverage.
AICP-CM credits will be awarded.

Need Parking?

Please checkout Visiting the UW-Milwaukee Campus for transit and non–motorized options and parking.

Need Directions?

Get directions to The School of Architecture and Urban Planning building at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is located at 2131 East Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Questions, comments?

All lectures are free and open to planners, students, staff, faculty, and friends of the University.
Please contact Sadie Baile, Department of Urban Planning Project Assistant at sbaile@uwm.edu