More than a dozen affordable housing focused organizations and governmental entities in southeastern Wisconsin, will split more than $580,000 in Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) Foundation grants to help house low-income and homeless individuals in the region.
The money will be spent on a variety of efforts to provide safe emergency shelter, transitional or long-term housing for extremely low-income residents – most of it aimed at repairing existing structures to make them more suitable for habitation.
“Ensuring individuals have safe housing is essential to the health, wellness, and success of our kids and families, workers, and communities,” said Gov. Tony Evers in a press release about the grant awards. All told more than $2 million in WHEDA foundation grants will be going to 54 organizations across the state to fund dozens of projects aimed at curbing homelessness.
“Everywhere we go, we hear about the need for reliable, affordable housing, and WHEDA and our state’s nonprofit housing partners have been critical to advancing this important work, especially for Wisconsinites who might need additional support. I was proud to provide additional support for these grants so we can continue to work together to create housing opportunities that help families and communities thrive,” Evers added.
This year, the foundation’s annual Housing Grant Program is funded by $1 million from WHEDA reserves and an additional $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. WHEDA received 94 applications requesting more than $3.6 million through the housing grant process this year, which officials say is an indication of the high demand and need in Wisconsin. According to WHEDA, this year’s $2 million in grants will create or improve 1,764 beds and housing units across the state. The investments at the community level also support economic recovery by creating valued construction jobs.
Providers in 29 counties received awards ranging from $2,500 to $50,000, the maximum award available. WHEDA Foundation grants improve housing for community members with complex needs, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, people experiencing intimate partner violence, individuals with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income, youth experiencing homelessness, and people with mental and behavioral health conditions.
Organizations receiving the grants include nonprofit agencies, local governments, and tribal authorities serving low-income or disadvantaged populations, including individuals experiencing homelessness, runaways, youth in out-of-home placement, individuals struggling with substance abuse disorder, people in need of protective services, aging and older residents, and people living with HIV, among others.
Here is a look at projects that will be funded here in southeastern Wisconsin:
Milwaukee County projects:
$15,000 – To rehab and install new flooring at the Benedict Center in Milwaukee, which houses women impacted by the criminal justice system (maintains housing for 8 individuals).
$9,290 – To replace window alarm security system and refinish hardwood floors at Pathfinders Milwaukee, Inc., a shelter serving runaway and homeless youth (maintains housing for 8 individuals).
$50,000 – For a new security and access system at Chicago-based Heartland Housing’s affordable housing apartment development in Milwaukee (maintains housing for 39 individuals).
$13,170 – To replace a water heater at Hope Street Ministry in Milwaukee, which provides transitional housing to men, women, and children (maintains housing for 22 individuals).
$34,150 – To repair a back door and upgrade laundry room doors for ADA compliance at a Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee building (maintains housing for 114 individuals).
$25,000 – For roof and gutter replacement, painting, new security doors, kitchen repairs, flooring replacement, drywall repairs at a Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity property (maintains/provides housing for 5 individuals).
Racine County projects:
$23,000 – To Catherine Marian Housing, Inc. in Racine to replace front and back doors and front entryway at Bethany Apartments (maintains housing for 35 individuals).
$50,000 – To remediate and upgrade bathroom floors at HALO, Inc.’s homeless shelter in Racine (maintains housing for 120 individuals).
Washington County projects:
$50,000 – To Family Promise of Washington County in West Bend to fund a facility expansion that will include nine emergency shelter bedrooms, a community shelter area, and four multibedroom transitional housing units. (Creates housing for 25 individuals).
$25,000 – To replace the HVAC system at Friends, Inc.’s domestic and sexual violence shelter in West Bend. (Maintains housing for 20 individuals).
Sheboygan County projects:
$50,000 – To fund renovations to the building recently acquired by Elevate in Sheboygan, which serves those impacted by addiction. (Will provide housing to 10 individuals).
$50,000 – To replace a water heater, sump pump, concrete area, roof and vinyl siding and a property being rehabbed by Habitat for Humanity Lakeside in Sheboygan. (Will provide housing for 10 individuals).
$35,000 – To replace and install new water heaters at properties owned by Partners for Community Development, Inc. in Sheboygan. (Maintains housing for 50 individuals).
Waukesha County projects:
$15,000 – To replace and repair roofing and fascia at Hebron Housing Services homeless shelter. (Maintains housing for 35 individuals).
$49,241 – To replace flooring at two homes being rehabbed by Creative Community Living Services – one in New Berlin and another Onalaska in La Crosse County. Money will also rehab two bathrooms at a third home. (Provides/maintains housing for 16 individuals).
Ozaukee County project:
$46,000 – To replace roof, flashing, vents, gutters, and downspouts on four homes owned by Balance, Inc, in Grafton and Port Washington. (Provides housing for four individuals).
Walworth County project:
$20,000 – To reseal parking lot and driveway at the Walworth County Housing Authority in Elkhorn and to remove and install new concrete in front entryways. (Maintains housing for 14 individuals).