Contact: Kassidy Farrey, Communications & Outreach Manager
For Immediate Release: January 20, 2023
Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program Set to Close January 31st
Madison, Wis. – Secretary Blumenfeld today announced that the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance program (WERA), funded by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program through the U.S. Department of Treasury, will close applications on January 31, 2023, due to low remaining funds. Housing stability services will continue even after rental benefit funds are exhausted.
Since launching in 2021, WERA has paid out over $242 million in benefits to support more than 38,865 unique households across all 72 counties with rent, utilities, water, and internet payments. Overall, the program has provided a total of $544 million statewide to help families avoid homelessness due to pandemic-related financial hardship.
“Since launching this program, we’ve been able to help tens of thousands of households get caught up on rent, keep the heat and lights on, and ensure folks could stay connected during one of the most challenging economic periods our state has ever experienced,” said Gov. Evers. “Wisconsinites have had enough on their plate these last three years without also having to worry about having a safe, stable place to lay their head at night. I’m proud of our efforts to help Wisconsinites have one less stressor as they’ve worked to provide for themselves and their families.”
“This successful program has allowed thousands of households to catch up on utility bills and get some peace of mind during a very trying time, and we are making sure that housing stability services continue to be offered even after WERA benefit funds run out,” said DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “We are grateful for Gov. Evers’ unwavering support and the commitment of our statewide network of partners in helping Wisconsin renters avoid eviction and retain safe, stable housing.”
The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance program opened to Wisconsin residents in February 2021 and was administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration in partnership with WISCAP, member Community Action agencies, and Energy Services Inc. Applications are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31. Benefits will be paid to the extent that funding remains available, with priority given to households facing imminent eviction.
The counties of Brown, Dane, Milwaukee, and Waukesha, as well as the cities of Madison and Milwaukee, have operated their own emergency rental assistance programs. More information is available at doa.wi.gov/Pages/WERA.aspx.
Visit BadgerBounceback.wi.gov 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.
About WISCAP: The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) is the statewide association for Wisconsin’s sixteen (16) Community Action agencies and two single-purpose agencies with statewide focus. You can learn more about WISCAP at wiscap.org