Dept. of Administration: Visit highlights $1.6 million investment for Prairie du Chien workforce housing

Prairie du Chien, Wis. – Today, Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld toured the new Prairie Bluffs housing development in Prairie du Chien, made possible through a $1.6 million Neighborhood Investment Fund grant from Governor Tony Evers.

The Secretary and Sen. Brad Pfaff met with Mayor Dave Hemmer, Robert Standorf, chair of the Redevelopment Authority, Chad Abram, City Administrator, and Carol Roth, Executive Director of Driftless Development, Inc. The city has used grant funds to redevelop a dilapidated mall and construct new workforce housing units to serve the Prairie du Chien community.

“I commend the City of Prairie du Chien on its vision in repurposing older buildings to meet a critical community need for workforce housing,” Sec. Blumenfeld said. “This is precisely the kind of project that Governor Evers set out to support through the Neighborhood Investment Fund program, and we’re thrilled to see it come to life for the benefit of the Prairie du Chien community.”

“The City of Prairie du Chien and the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) appreciate the generous support the Department of Administration has provided to redevelop the former Blackhawk Junction Mall site,” said Mayor Dave Hemmer. 

Robert Standorf, Chair of the RDA explained, “the Neighborhood Investment Grant is critical as the City and RDA work to facilitate new housing and commercial development on this property.” 

“Rural economic development requires creativity and perseverance and an aggressive approach encompassing business and job growth, housing expansion, and downtown revitalization,” added Carol Roth, Executive Director of Driftless Development, Inc.  

The Neighborhood Investment Fund program was initially announced in August 2021 with additional investments announced in May 2022 and has provided local and Tribal governments with capital investments to meet ongoing community needs, especially in areas impacted by the pandemic. Grants are administered by the Department of Administration and funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Governor Evers has recently called for expanding the successful program to meet ongoing workforce challenges around the state, through a $150 million budget proposal.

Visit to view pandemic-related assistance information as well as the latest data and success stories about how COVID-relief investments are making a difference across the state. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.