By Patrick Lynn
Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday announced more than $322 million in funding to help support Wisconsinites who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program, administered by the Department of Administration (DOA), provides “direct financial assistance for rent, utility, home energy costs, and wraparound services for individuals who qualify,” according to Evers’ news release.
Eligible applicants include Wisconsin residents who have seen their income reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and/or earn a household income at or below 80 percent of the county median income. Once approved, eligible individuals may receive up to 12 months of assistance. Rental and utility assistance payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenant.
The DOA will partner with Wisconsin Community Action agencies and Energy Services, Inc. to accept applications and distribute rental and utility assistance.
“I’m proud of the efforts we’ve made through the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program to get folks the help they need so they don’t have to worry about losing the roofs over their heads, and this program will build on that success,” Evers said in a press statement. “While we continue working to get vaccines distributed and shots in arms as soon as we have supply [sic], these funds will be critically important providing families the stability and support they need to get through this pandemic.”
DOA Secretary Joel Brennan said many families face the possibility of losing their homes or having their utilities shut off because of the effects of the pandemic.”
“Gov. Evers is committed to helping Wisconsin families stay in their homes and keep their heat and lights on,” Brennan said. “We are grateful to our local partners for working with DOA to distribute rental and energy assistance to Wisconsinites who need support as we put our state in the best possible position to bounce back in the coming months.”
The effort is funded by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. More details about the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program are available here.