MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced more than $322 million in funding to help support Wisconsinites who have experienced income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program, administered by the Department of Administration (DOA), provides direct financial assistance for rent, utility, home energy costs, and wraparound services for individuals who qualify.
“I’m proud of the efforts we’ve made through the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program to get folks the help they need so they don't have to worry about losing the roofs over their heads, and this program will build on that success,” said Gov. Evers. “While we continue working to get vaccines distributed and shots in arms as soon as we have supply, these funds will be critically important providing families the stability and support they need to get through this pandemic.”
Eligible applicants include Wisconsin residents who demonstrate a risk of experiencing housing instability, have seen their income reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and/or earn a household income at or below 80 percent of the county median income. Once approved, eligible individuals may receive up to 12 months of assistance. Rental and utility assistance payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenant.
The DOA will partner with Wisconsin Community Action agencies and Energy Services, Inc. to accept applications and distribute rental and utility assistance. Residents of Brown, Dane, Milwaukee, and Waukesha Counties and the cities of Madison and Milwaukee can apply directly to their local government’s rental assistance provider.
“Many families face the possibility of losing the roof over their heads or having their utilities shut off because of the effects of the pandemic,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “Gov. Evers is committed to helping Wisconsin families stay in their homes and keep their heat and lights on. We are grateful to our local partners for working with DOA to distribute rental and energy assistance to Wisconsinites who need support as we put our state in the best possible position to bounce back in the coming months.”
The effort is funded by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. More details about the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program are available here.