MADISON, Wis. -

The Madison City Council has approved investing $4.4 million in four affordable housing projects.

The decision continues an effort to create 1,000 lower-cost units over five years, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

City investments will enable developers to meet application deadlines early next year for federal tax credits distributed by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. The credits are critical to financing the projects.

The projects total nearly $50 million and will have 219 affordable units and 257 total units. They'll include housing for grandparents with children in their care, units for families and two developments for senior citizens.

The Affordable Housing Plan proposed by Mayor Paul Soglin two years ago aims to build 250 housing units with support services for the homeless and another 750 affordable units.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj