From June through November 2020, WISCAP’s network, in partnership with the state, distributed over $28 million in rental assistance through the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program (WRAP). Now, given additional federal funds, WISCAP and its statewide network is helping to get Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA) to those in need. The Frequently Asked Questions give an overview of the WERA program and eligibility guidelines. Please contact the agency that serves your area in order to apply.
If you need help understanding the information on this page, please send us a message here.
*If you live in the City of Milwaukee, City of Madison, Milwaukee County, Dane County, Waukesha County or Brown County, please skip the map and see Entitlement Areas*
Agencies Operating WERA
Please choose the county you live in on the map or using the drop down bar. When you click on your county one of the below will happen:
- You will be directed to an agency’s pre-screen application. Pre-screen applications help an agency determine your eligibility for WERA, these are not formal WERA applications. This is just the first step to get the rental assistance process started.
- An email will pop up on your screen. Please email that address and ask how to get started with their WERA application process.
If you live in Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, Brown County, Dane County, City of Madison or City of Milwaukee you have to contact the local organization who is serving your area. WERA does not serve your area.
As of March 1st, the Emergency Rental Assistance programs from Waukesha County and City of Milwaukee are not up and running yet. Waukesha County is hopeful to be accepting applications by mid-March. WISCAP does not have an update on the City of Milwaukee’s timeline.
In the federal relief package that funds WERA, 6 areas of Wisconsin with populations over 200,000 are considered entitlement areas. This means they are receiving funding for rental assistance but are not a part of WERA. If you live in an entitlement area, you will need to contact the local organizations providing this service for information on their program.
|Brown County||Newcap||800-242-7334||Click Here|
|Waukesha County||To be determined||N/A||N/A|
|Milwaukee County||Community Advocates||414-270-4646||Click Here|
|City of Milwaukee||To be determined||N/A||N/A|
|Dane County & |
City of Madison
|Tenant Resource Center||608-257-0006||Click Here|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What assistance can WERA provide?
Eligible forms of assistance include the following:
- Up to 12 months of rental arrearages and/or rental assistance, plus an additional 3 months if the extra months are determined to be needed to ensure housing stability and funds are available.
- Once a household’s rental arrears are reduced, assistance is only provided for up to three months at a time.
- Recertification of household’s income eligibility is necessary after three months.
- Only arrears starting March 13, 2020 are eligible.
- Utility and housing energy payments and arrearages including electricity and gas.
- Telecommunication services (telephone, cable, Internet) are not considered to be utilities.
- Utilities covered by the landlord within rent will be treated as rent.
- Provision of, or referral for, housing stability services.
2. What if I have received rental assistance elsewhere?Read Answer
- If a household receives rental assistance other than WERA, then WERA may only be used for tenant’s portions of costs (rent, utilities) that were not already covered by the other assistance.
- An eligible household that occupies a federally subsidized residential or mixed-use property may receive WERA assistance, provided that WERA funds are only applied to costs that have not been reimbursed under any other federal assistance.
- If a household receives a monthly federal subsidy (e.g., a Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, Project-Based Rental Assistance, or Tenant-Based Rental Assistance) and the tenant’s rent is adjusted according to changes in household income, the household may receive WERA assistance for their personal portion of the rental agreement.
3. Who qualifies for the WERA program?Read Answer
At least one or more individuals in the household meets the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a significant reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship during the period of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of their county’s median income.
4. What documentation from the landlord will I need?Read Answer
The landlord must sign (along with renter) the Renter Verification form. This document provides a way for the landlord/rental agent to verify the terms of tenancy of the applicant. This document can be used in the place of a written lease if completed and signed by the landlord/rental agent. In addition, the Landlord must register themselves as a vendor in the HE+ system to receive payment. Check with your local agency to see if the Landlord is already a registered vendor.
5. What documents will I need to provide?Read Answer
- The household must provide documentation showing their income was impacted by COVID-19;
- Documentation that income for the 1-month period from application date does not exceed 80% of the County Median Income (CMI) OR 2020 IRS Tax Documentation;
- A current lease, agreement, or proof (such as check payments) listing the applicant resides in Wisconsin.
6. If someone applies for rental assistance through a Community Action Agency, while the application is being processed are landlords able to take eviction action?Read Answer
If the landlord intends to evict, no legal basis exists under the application process to stay an eviction order. On a condition of receiving WERA payments, Landlords would agree not to initiate eviction orders during the period of assistance.
7. Will any services be offered to displaced families that may require additional cost?Read Answer
Wrap-around services including financial counseling, budgeting assistance, tenant rights counseling and additional referrals may be provided by CAAs.
8. What is the turnaround time for program approval and disbursement of checks?Read Answer
From the time an application is completed payment will be generated within 10 days or less.
9. Are in-person meetings required? Are virtual meetings allowed?Read Answer
Applications may be taken by phone or email and virtual meetings are allowed.
10. Are mortgage payments eligible?Read Answer
No mortgage payments are not an eligible expense. We urge all landlords to work directly with their tenants.
11. Does my unemployment count as income?Read Answer
Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA) is being coordinated by WISCAP and local CAAs, is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration, and is funded by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program through the U.S. Department of Treasury.