Housing Authorities in Wisconsin

State of Housing in WisconsinWisconsin received a total of $21,659,941 from HUD this year as renewed support for the local housing projects, housing service, and housing programs.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is housing that costs no more than 30 percent of a family’s income per month. Communities benefit from having affordable housing. The work that low income people do makes it possible for retail and manufacturing establishments to function in the community. If the establishments lack employees, they will go someplace else or choose not to locate in the community in the first place. Without employees, business, the prime generator of property taxes, cannot exist. Many communities therefore need to develop policies for ensuring the availability of affordable housing.

Affordable Housing Tax Credits

Affordable Housing Tax Credits encourage the creation of affordable rental housing by offering a tax incentive to private sector investors. Affordable housing tax credits can be used for:

  • New construction of residential rental units;
  • Acquisition of existing residential rental developments;
  • Rehabilitation of existing residential rental developments.

Community Development Block Grant-Small Cities Housing

CDBG funds may be used for various housing revitalization efforts. Any Wisconsin city, village, or town with a population of less than 50,000 and not eligible for a direct federal CDBG grant, or any county not defined as "urban" by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), may apply.

Home Investment Partnerships Program

A variety of affordable housing activities may be supported by federal HOME awards, including down payment assistanceState of Housing in Wisconsin for home buyers, rental rehabilitation, weatherization related repairs, accessibility improvements, and rental housing development.

Housing Cost Reduction Initiative

Local sponsors annually compete for $2.6 million in state grants to reduce the housing costs of low-income renters or home buyers. Eligible applicants include local units of government, American Indian tribes or bands in Wisconsin, housing authorities, and nonprofit housing organizations. Eligible activities are emergency rental aid, home buying down payment assistance, homeless prevention efforts, and related housing initiatives.

Local Housing Organization Grant

State grants are available to enable community-based organizations, tribes, and housing authorities to increase their capacity to provide affordable housing opportunities and services.

Home Improvement Loan Program

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) administers the Home Improvement Loan Program (HILP) and the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP). These programs are designed to enable homeowners with low or moderate incomes to repair and improve their homes. The program makes FHA-insured home improvement loans available at an interest rate below the market rate. A third program, the Home Energy Incentive Program, is used with HILP for energy conservation projects. To apply for a loan, visit a participating lending institution, or call 800-334-6873.

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program provides energy assistance for low-income renters and homeowners. Eligibility is limited to households that have an income not greater than 150% of the poverty level, and that show an "energy burden". This means the household must directly pay a fuel provider or pay rent that includes heat. Applications usually must be made through the county Energy Assistance Office. Payments are made based on a multi-tier schedule depending on income, household size, and fuel type. One payment at the appropriate benefit rate is made for the entire heating season.

Weatherization Programs

In most counties, free weatherization is available for qualified low-income customers through gas and electric utilities. Contractors are hired to install insulation, as well as to caulk and weather strip. Call the local utility for further information.

Rent Assistance For Public Housing

Public housing programs provide publicly-owned and publicly-operated housing for low-income families and single persons who are age 62 or older, have a disability, or are displaced by government action or disaster. Local housing authorities setState of Housing in Wisconsin income limits, and rent may not exceed 30% of income. Contact the local city or county housing authority for information.

Section 8 Housing Subsidies

Section 8 or housing choice voucher is a rent subsidy that gives an eligible person some choice about where to live. Under Section 8, the local housing authority or a state housing agency gives the tenant a certificate or voucher that says the government will subsidize the person's rent payments. Generally, the tenant will pay no more than a third of his/her income on rent, with the government paying the rest. Under the Section 8 voucher program, a person may be allowed to pay a little more out of personal income to meet the higher rent charged in some areas or complexes. Eligibility for housing choice vouchers or Section 8 is limited to:

  • Very low-income families;
  • Low-income families previously assisted under the public housing, Section 23, or Section 8 project-based housing programs;
  • Low-income families that are non-purchasing tenants of certain homeownership programs;
  • Low-income tenants displaced from certain Section 221 and 236 projects; or
  • Low-income families that meet PHA-specified eligibility criteria.

For the Section 8 subsidy to apply, housing must have been inspected and meet HUD standards.

Counseling for Homebuyers& Tenants in Wisconsin

The KHA is a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency providing homebuyer education training. Call the KHA office for information on training dates. KHA provides funding for homebuyer education, downpayment, grants and foreclosing assistance from recently acquired funding from the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce. The funding is through the Housing Cost Reduction Initiative (HCRI) program. Families need to contact the KHA for further information regarding this program.

Indian Housing

Indian housing assistance (modernization or operating assistance for housing previously developed or operated pursuant to a contract between HUD and an Indian housing authority):

  • Development of additional affordable housing;
  • Housing-related services for affordable housing;
  • Management services for affordable housing;
  • Safety, security, and law enforcement measures and activities appropriate to protect residents of affordable housing from crime; and
  • Housing activities under model programs designed to carry out the purposes of the Act, if specifically approved by HUD, as appropriate.

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs) and community-based outreach clinics.After determining which areas of the country have the highest number of homeless Veterans, the VA Central Office identifies VA facilities in the corresponding communities. HUD then selects PHAs near to the identified VA facilities, taking into consideration the PHAs’ administrative performance, and sends the PHAs invitations to apply for the vouchers.

Non-Government Rent Assistance Available from:

The American Legion offers assistance through their Temporary Financial Assistance Program. This program isState of Housing in Wisconsin available to those that qualify and are approved. The program is administered through the National Office however applicants are screened on a local or Post level. The applicants’ needs are investigated fully before approval is given. Eligible applicants are minorchildren whose biological parent, or legal guardian, is a veteran and is, or would have been eligible for American Legion membership. Legion membership is not required however. Applicants 18-20 years old will also be considered if a current disability requires special schooling or indefinite in-home care, or they are enrolled in an approved high school and are unmarried. Legion membership eligibility requires the parent or guardian must have served at least one day of active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.
American Legion Drive
Portage, WI - 53901
(608) 745-1090

Volunteers of America of Wisconsin
Volunteers of America offers limited eviction prevention assistance on a one time basis to those that qualify when funds are available. If you would like more information, please contact them directly.
1661 North Water Street Suite 401
Milwaukee, WI - 53202
(414) 847-1515

St. Vincent De Paul Society of Waukesha
To be considered for assistance, a St. Vincent de Paul volunteer will return your call, inquire about your specific need and schedule an in-home visit. Two volunteers will meet with you to understand your needs and identify what, if any assistance or referrals we can best provide.Assistance may come in the form of food, clothing, household goods, rent, utilities and/or referrals, as appropriate.
305 E. Main Street
Waukesha, WI - 53186
262-547-3281

Project Home Inc.
Provide home repair and weatherization for low-income home owners and occupants.
1966 S Stoughton Rd
Madison, WI - 53716

Ribbon of Hope Foundation Incorporated
Ribbon of Hope was founded in February 2003 and is an all-volunteer organization. The mission of Ribbon of Hope is to be a financial, informational, and emotional resource for individuals with breast cancer in Northeastern Wisconsin.
421 George St. #199
De Pere, WI - 54115

Tomorrows Home Foundation Inc
We make down payment grants for the disabled and we provide critical home repairs to keep low income families from becoming homeless.
202 State St
Madison, WI - 53703

Energy Services Inc.
To provide energy assistance to the economically disadvantaged
1225 S Park St
Madison, WI - 53715

CDBG Office
Grantors may provide rental assistance or services to eligible program participants who are residing or would like to reside outside their jurisdiction. They may also fund sub-grantees that serve persons outside of the jurisdiction, sub-grantees that are located outside of the jurisdiction, and sub-grantees that serve multiple jurisdictions. A grantee mayState of Housing in Wisconsin establish more stringent requirements, such as requiring that HPRP funds be spent within the jurisdiction or establishing a residency requirement, but HUD is not setting these requirements.
Madison, WI - 53701
(608) 261-9148

Department of Development-West Allis
Grantors may provide rental assistance or services to eligible program participants who are residing or would like to reside outside their jurisdiction. They may also fund sub-grantees that serve persons outside of the jurisdiction, sub-grantees that are located outside of the jurisdiction, and sub-grantees that serve multiple jurisdictions. A grantee may establish more stringent requirements, such as requiring that HPRP funds be spent within the jurisdiction or establishing a residency requirement, but HUD is not setting these requirements.
West Allis City Hall
Milwaukee, WI - 53214
(414) 3028468

Community Development Grants Administration-Milwaukee

Grantors may provide rental assistance or services to eligible program participants who are residing or would like to reside outside their jurisdiction. They may also fund sub-grantees that serve persons outside of the jurisdiction, sub-grantees that are located outside of the jurisdiction, and sub-grantees that serve multiple jurisdictions. A grantee may establish more stringent requirements, such as requiring that HPRP funds be spent within the jurisdiction or establishing a residency requirement,but HUD is not setting these requirements.
City Hall200 East Wells StreetRoom 606
Milwaukee, WI - 53202
(414) 2863647

Eligibility

Income limits for public housing and vouchers are set by the government.

Income Limits for Housing Subsidy in Wisconsin

FY 2013 Very Low-Income (50%) Limit (VLIL)
Wisconsin
Income Limit Information Median Family Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 VLIL $66,000 $23,100 $26,400 $29,700 $33,000 $35,650 $38,300 $40,900 $43,550
FY 2013 Extremely Low-Income (30%) Limit (ELIL)
Wisconsin
Income Limit Information 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 ELIL $13,850 $15,850 $17,800 $19,800 $21,400 $22,950 $24,550 $26,150
FY 2013 Low-Income (80%) Limit (LIL)
Wisconsin
Income Limit Information 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 LIL $36,950 $42,250 $47,500 $52,800 $57,000 $61,250 $65,450 $69,700

Applicants for public housing, rent subsidy, or other housing assistance must also pass a criminal background check. They may be given priority status if they are:

  • Persons who are homeless due to natural disasters.
  • Persons who are homeless due to public action.
  • Persons with emergency needs (such as domestic violence victims, persons with medical emergencies, or homeless persons facing an immediate threat to their health and safety.
  • Veterans and local residents

Unemployment Rate in Wisconsin

The unemployment rate for Wisconsin fell 0.0 percentage points in April 2013 to 7.1%. The state unemployment rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the national rate for the month. It peaked in June 2009 at 9.2% and is now 2.1 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 6.7% in November 2012, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.4 percentage points.

Unemployment RateMarch 2013Month/MonthYear/Year
National 7.6% -0.1 -0.6
Wisconsin 7.1% 0.0 +0.2

The demand for housing and rent subsidy programs in Wisconsin exceeds the available supply of funds and a small drop in the unemployment rate has an insignificant effect on the waiting lists. Please ask your housing agency for details of the programs you are interested in.