Building on Key Achievements of Task Force, State Treasurer Godlewski Launches New Statewide Network to Help Wisconsinites Buy, Fix, and Stay in Homes

Gov. Evers Announces More than $92 Million in Homeowner Assistance Funding to Wisconsin Homeowners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2021
Contact: DOA Communications, (608) 235-2412
DOACommunications@wisconsin.gov

Madison, Wis.– Governor Tony Evers today announced the development of the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners (WHH) program, intending to provide approximately $92.7 million in critically needed assistance to eligible homeowners in Wisconsin. The State is partnering with the Wisconsin Community Action Program Network (WISCAP), member agencies, Office of the State Treasurer, and Take Root Wisconsin to develop the program.

“We’re working to ensure that every family, household, and community has the resources to rebound and recover,” said Gov. Evers. “We know this type of program is sorely needed to help folks keep a roof over their heads, and will be key to helping Wisconsin homeowners bounce back.”

Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program will help to mitigate financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic by preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement. Once approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, WHH will be funded through the federal homeowner assistance fund program established under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The WHH proposal aims to help Wisconsin homeowners across the state, including:
• homeowners with a mortgage who are in forbearance or delinquent on their mortgage or property taxes;
• homeowners without a mortgage who may be delinquent on their property taxes;
• condominium owners who may be behind on their monthly maintenance or homeowners’ association (HOA) fees;
• and manufactured homeowners who may have other types of housing debt, such as chattel loans or retail installment contracts, which also may be in arrears due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s our responsibility to help families, older adults, and others who may be at risk stay in their homes during the pandemic,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “With the ongoing Delta variant, making these funds available to homeowners in need is a top priority.”
The WHH program proposal to the Treasury Department will be finalized with public input, with the goal of launching help for homeowners this fall. The Department of Administration’s (DOA) Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR) will administer Wisconsin’s Help for Homeowners program. More information on the program, including information on eligible homeowners, properties and uses of the funding, will become available soon.

“Homeownership is the backbone of the American Dream, but right now economic hardship is breaking the back of many Wisconsinites. We must deliver real help to our neighbors facing foreclosures and other home financing pitfalls,” said State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. “As we’ve seen in our work with the Treasurers’ Homeowners Task Force, there is an urgent need for Homeownership Assistance Funds, and this program will be a difference-maker for thousands across Wisconsin who lay awake at night worrying about keeping their home.”
Two virtual public hearings for input regarding the State of Wisconsin’s plan to implement WHH will be held on August 31, 2021. More information about the hearings, including how interested residents and groups may attend, will be on the WHH website, the Wisconsin State Journal as well as announced publicly on the State of Wisconsin’s Public Meetings website: https://publicmeetings.wi.gov/.

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