Evers launches $25 million rental assistance program

Payments up to $3,000 per individual would go directly to landlords

Gov. Tony Evers
Gov. Tony Evers

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday announced the launch of a $25 million rental assistance program for state residents who have lost income as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Evers issued an order in late March suspending evictions and foreclosures, but that measure is set to expire May 26.

The so-called Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program is being administered by the state Department of Administration, and will provide direct financial assistance for owed rent, security deposits and wrap-around services. It is funded with money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

Eligible applicants must be an adult state resident with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date. Successful applicants could receive up to $3,000 in a combination of rental payments and/or security deposits.  The payments will go directly to the landlord.

“Wisconsinites have enough to worry about as we continue to battle the deadly COVID-19 virus. They should not also have to worry about losing the roofs over their head,” Evers said in a news release. “The Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program will hopefully provide peace of mind to a lot of people, as well as a reminder to them that we are all in this together. They have not been forgotten.”

DOA is partnering with Wisconsin Community Action Program Association member agencies to accept applications from interested individuals and distribute the rental assistance.

“Collaborations with ‘boots-on-the-ground’ partner organizations will be critical to ensuring eligible Wisconsin residents are aware of this new program and are able to receive rental assistance relief quickly,” DOA Secretary Joel Brennan said in the release.

The Evers administration will share more details on the program, including eligibility criteria, documentation requirements and the distribution process, in the upcoming days. Initial details are available online.

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