WHEDA Foundation Awards $500,000 in 2015 Housing Grants

Special-needs housing providers to create or improve more than 1100 beds/units

MADISON – The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has announced that the WHEDA Foundation, Inc. is awarding $500,000 in housing grants to 28 special?needs housing providers throughout the state. These grants, awarded during WHEDA’s annual Housing Grant Program competition, help housing providers build new facilities or make improvements to their existing facilities.

“WHEDA has been very fortunate to provide financial support to special-needs housing providers in need through our foundation for 30 years,” said WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston. “Wisconsin residents in crisis depend on these providers for safe, affordable housing, so I’m proud to announce that this year’s grant monies will create or improve 1,163 beds and housing units across our great state.”

The winning 2015 grant proposals ranged from improving or replacing windows, bathrooms, flooring, piping, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, counter tops, sinks, furnaces, ceiling lights and smoke detectors in Milwaukee County to adding new insulation, replacing siding and decks, installing energy efficient windows and replacing a 30-year old electric baseboard heating system in Fond du Lac County.

Providers in Ashland, Barron, Dane, Dunn, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Polk, Portage, Richland, Rock, Sheboygan, Taylor, and Waukesha counties received awards ranging from $2,014 to $25,000. WHEDA received 48 applications through the housing grant competition this year totaling $996,362 in funding requests, an indication of the high demand and need in Wisconsin.

“These grants not only help improve affordable housing for underserved populations, the monies help generate much needed construction jobs as grant recipients hire contractors to complete renovations and upgrades to their properties,” said Winston.

Six award recipients are located in the Transform Milwaukee area. The recipients and their award allocations are: Center for Veterans Issues ($25,000), WAICO RHF Housing, Inc. ($25,000), Social Development Commission ($18,784), Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee

($12,500), Pathfinders Milwaukee, Inc. ($6,130), and The Salvation Army ($20,000) for a total of $107,414 in grants. Governor Scott Walker and WHEDA first launched Transform Milwaukee on April 30, 2012. The initiative focuses on restoring economic vitality to the industrial corridor, adjacent neighborhoods, and small business development connecting Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor, the Menomonee Valley, Riverworks, the Harbor District, Port of Milwaukee, and the Aerotropolis.

The annual Housing Grant competition is funded entirely by WHEDA reserves using no state tax dollars. Grants are awarded through WHEDA’s Persons-in-Crisis Housing Program Fund to nonprofit agencies, local governments, and tribal authorities in Wisconsin whose mission includes meeting the housing needs of low?income or disadvantaged populations including homeless persons, runaways, alcohol or drug dependent persons, persons in need of protective services, domestic abuse victims, persons with developmental disabilities, low?income or frail elderly persons, persons with chronic mental illness, persons with physical disabilities, persons living with HIV disease, and individuals or families who do not have access to traditional or permanent housing.

Since 1985, the WHEDA Foundation has issued 1,030 awards totaling $22,468,000 to housing providers across the state. Established by WHEDA in 1983, the foundation is responsible for receiving and administering housing grant funds on behalf of WHEDA. Grants are awarded in one of two categories: emergency/transitional housing or permanent housing.

Click here to see a complete list of the 2015 grant award recipients.

WHEDA was created in 1972 by the Wisconsin Legislature to provide low?cost financing for housing, small business and agricultural development. Since 1972, WHEDA has financed more than 77,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 118,000 families purchase their first homes and made more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees. For more information, visit wheda.com or call 1-800-334-6873.

Contact: Kevin Fischer, WHEDA, 414-227-2295 or 608-354-3580, kevin.fischer (at) wheda (dot) com

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