Dane Co. rental assistance program to end due to depleting federal funds

The program, which started in 2021, will no longer accept applications after May 31, 2023.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:33 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the rear-view mirror, some relief programs are starting to come to an end. That includes the Dane County Core rental assistance program.

The program, which started in 2021, will no longer accept applications after May 31, 2023.

Liz Stanislawski, a public information officer for the city of Madison’s planning, community and economic development agency, said the program is closing due to diminishing relief funds from the federal government.

“The funds are running out, so the program has to close,” Stanislawski said.

Despite the decision to close the program, Stanislawski said qualified applicants between now and the end of May will most likely be accepted.

“There are people on staff working as fast as they can to process the all of the applications,” Stanislawski said. “We’re pretty confident that we have enough funding in there to assist those who apply.”

Since 2021, the federally funded program has dispersed approximately $75 million across more than 19,000 renter households in Dane Co.

“It was nice that we were able to get some of these federal funds to make sure that (people) could remain in their house,” Stanislawski said. “We truly believe that housing is a human right.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison clinical law professor Mitch said the ramifications of the program ending goes beyond tenants and landlords.

“This is a serious issue that could impact housing stability and could impact stability of our schools because kids could be displaced from the schools if their parents are losing their housing,” Mitch said. “It could impact the job market if there’s people getting evicted, and they’re no longer on a bus line and it’s harder for them to get to work.”

After the Core program closes, Stanislawski said there will be other ways to receive assistance for those in need.

“The good news is there is another program called the ‘Eviction, Diversion and Defense Partnership’ program and that basically helps out people who are facing eviction,” Stanislawski said.

To find out if you’re eligible for for the Core program before it stops accepting applications, click here.

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