Appleton Housing Authority: Awarded substantial state grants to assist qualifying homebuyers in attaining dream of homeownership

Contact:  Lori Van Handel, Marketing/Development Director, at (920) 739-6811 ext. 114 or cell (920) 209-3165,[email protected]

June is National Homeownership Month

APPLETON, WI (June 19, 2017) – The Appleton Housing Authority (AHA) announced today that it has received substantial grant funding from the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration to assist qualifying first-time homebuyers in their pursuit of stable, safe and affordable housing in Outagamie and Calumet Counties. Grant funding includes a $150,000 HOME Homebuyer and Homeowner Rehabilitation (HHR) Program Housing award and Housing Cost Reduction Initiative (HCRI) Program funding in the amount of $100,000.

Administration of grant monies will be through the AHA’s First-time Homebuyer Program, according to Nicole Lemke, AHA Homebuyer Program manager.  “This funding offers qualifying families and individuals in our community the chance to experience the excitement of choosing their own home,” Lemke said. “For many families, the down payment, closing cost and/or home rehabilitation assistance the AHA provides is the real difference maker to attaining homeownership.”

Through these grant awards, HOME /HHR funds for down payment and closing cost assistance is available to income eligible AHA Homebuyer Program participants with income at or below 80% of County Median Income.  Additionally, home rehabilitation funds are available to qualifying homeowners for making essential improvements to their single family homes. Eligible home rehabilitation projects include: energy efficiencies and weatherization improvements, remediation of code violations and repair of major building components.

AHA Executive Director Debra Dillenberg notes that the AHA has helped more than 450 families buy affordable homes to date, which has also brought an ongoing economic boost to the area since the program’s inception in 1993. “Families utilize local lenders for their mortgage needs and local contractors for repair work, keeping the living wages to pay for the completion of these tasks right here in our community,” Dillenberg said. “Our Homebuyer Program is truly a win-win for the new homeowner, their family members and our community through each home that is purchased and each neighborhood that is revitalized.”



For single mom Kimberly Caskey, the program was the key to a safe and affordable home for her and her young son, Jamison. “It was a huge relief to be able to have help from the AHA with the down payment for my home. Without this program, I know I wouldn’t have been able to move forward with buying a home yet,” Caskey said.  “Some rehab work also needed to be done. To have help for those repairs as well was an absolute game-changer for me, which is pretty awesome. Now that we are settled, I feel like we can grow here. There’s a park down the road and the school district is good, which means a lot, too,” Caskey said.

The AHA offers regular Homebuyer Education classes to assist qualified first-time homebuyers in their journey to homeownership.  Classes are offered in a two-part series and participants must attend both classes to complete the program.

To register for Homebuyer classes or for more information about the AHA’s Homebuyer Program, contact Nicole Lemke, AHA Homebuyer manager, at (920) 739-6811 ext. 111 or [email protected].


About the Appleton Housing Authority:

The Appleton Housing Authority (AHA) is the largest provider of affordable housing options in the Appleton area, serving over 900 families per month.  The agency has operated rental housing, homeownership and family self-sufficiency programs along with other key housing-related programs in the Appleton community for 50 years.     

The AHA’s non-profit Neighborhood Housing, Inc. (NHI) organization is committed to affordable housing and the self-sufficiency of families, elderly, veterans and disabled individuals in the Fox Cities. For more information about the AHA’s history, mission and programs, visit