MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that 34 organizations, from Beloit to Phelps and from Pepin to Grafton, will share $1 million in grants from the WHEDA Foundation as they work to provide emergency shelter, transitional residences, and extremely low-income housing.
Administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), the WHEDA Foundation grants improve housing for community members, including individuals with disabilities, survivors of domestic abuse, individuals with chronic mental illness, those with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income, and youth experiencing homelessness.
“Throughout Wisconsin, providers of emergency and transitional housing are doing important work to support our most vulnerable residents as well as connect them to critical services that provide stability and well-being,” Gov. Evers said. “The WHEDA Foundation grants play an essential role in creating and improving these housing facilities to help community members thrive.”
WHEDA Interim Executive Director Kim Plache said this year’s award of $1,000,000 in grants will create or improve 865 beds and housing units across the state. The investments at the community level also support economic recovery by creating valued construction jobs.
“Through its nonprofit network and other local partners, the WHEDA Foundation leverages their expertise to expand housing capacity throughout Wisconsin,” Plache said. “This marks the 37th year the WHEDA Foundation has provided financial support through the housing grant program. This year’s grants will expand the supply of safe, affordable housing for people facing housing instability as well as for individuals and families negatively impacted by the pandemic.”
The winning 2021 grant proposals include a full renovation of eight rental units for low-come persons in Eau Claire, replacement of a new roof and venting system at a shelter in Readstown, a new ramp and deck to meet American with Disabilities Act standards at a shelter in La Crosse, and a new furnace and air conditioning system for a domestic abuse shelter in Ozaukee. Providers in Albany, Barron, Beloit, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Grafton, Janesville, La Crosse, Ladysmith, Madison, Milltown, Milwaukee, Monroe, New Richmond, Pepin, Phelps, Portage, Port Washington, Prairie Farm, Prescott, Racine, Readstown, Stevens Point, Ozaukee, Watertown, Waukesha, Waupaca, and West Bend received awards ranging from $4,200 to $50,000.
WHEDA received 60 applications through the housing grant competition this year totaling $2,337,288 in funding requests, an indication of the high demand and need in Wisconsin.
The annual Housing Grant Program competition is funded entirely by WHEDA reserves and uses no state tax dollars. Organizations receiving the grants include nonprofit agencies, local governments and tribal authorities serving low-income or disadvantaged populations including homeless people, runaways, youth in out-of-home placement, people with alcohol or drug dependencies, people in need of protective services, frail elderly residents and people living with HIV disease, among others.
Since 1985, the WHEDA Foundation has issued 1,232 awards totaling $26,968,000 to housing providers across the state. Established by WHEDA in 1983, the foundation is responsible for receiving and administering housing grant funds on behalf of WHEDA. Grants are awarded in one of two categories: emergency/transitional housing or permanent housing.
A complete list of the 2021 grant award recipients is available here. To keep up with information about WHEDA resources, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and sign up to receive emails here.