The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has announced the WHEDA Foundation, Inc. is awarding $500,000 in housing grants to 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 proudly offered financial support to specialneeds housing providers through our foundation since 1985,” said WHEDA executive director Wyman Winston. “These providers supply Wisconsin citizens in crisis safe, affordable housing. I’m delighted this year’s grant monies to 25 award recipients will help create or improve 894 beds and housing units throughout Wisconsin.” Ten providers in Milwaukee County are receiving a total of $216,060 in awards. Five of the providers, Daystar, Hope House of Milwaukee, Community Advocates, YWCA Greater Milwaukee, and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin are located within the “Transform Milwaukee” initiative region. WHEDA is committing over $100 million to the “Transform Milwaukee” initiative over the next two years to focus on restoring economic vitality to the industrial, residential and transportation areas connecting Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor, Menomonee Valley, Port of Milwaukee and Aerotropolis.
Other Milwaukee awardees include the Salvation Army Emergency Lodge, Jabez Transitional Center, My Home Your Home, St. Catherine Residence, and Hedwig House. The winning 2012 grants will be used to enhance or expand security measures, remodel kitchens and bathrooms, replace or repair roofs, elevators and boilers, and make restrooms handicapped accessible.
“The grants provide a double benefit,” said Winston. “Critical improvements will be made to affordable housing for the neediest of the needy and valued construction jobs will be created as grant recipients hire contractors to complete renovations and upgrades to their properties.” WHEDA received 49 applications through the housing grant competition this year totaling over $1 million in funding requests, an indication of the high demand in Wisconsin.
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 948 awards totaling $21,113,000 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.