State Launches $25M Rental Assistance Program As Eviction Moratorium Ends

Eligible Renters Can Receive Up To $3K For Rent, Security Deposits

An eviction notice posted on an apartment
An eviction notice is posted on the apartment rented by Mohammed Zazi and his son Najibullah Zazi in Aurora, Colo. Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009. Will Powers/AP Photo

Wisconsin residents struggling to pay their rent could be eligible to receive up to $3,000 under a rental assistance program announced Wednesday by Gov. Tony Evers.

Since March 27, landlords have been prohibited from evicting tenants, but that ban will expire Tuesday, May 26. While state and federal benefits will help soften the blow, they’re not expected to cover all the expenses a family must manage, Evers said.

In response, the state is launching a $25 million Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program for people who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The money is being funded through federal coronavirus relief bill dollars and will be administered by the state Department of Administration (DOA).

The Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program will provide direct financial assistance for owed rent, security deposits and wrap-around services for people eligible for the program.

“Wisconsinites have enough to worry about as we continue to battle the deadly COVID-19 virus,” Evers said in a written statement. “They should not also have to worry about losing the roofs over their head.”

Between March 15 and May 16, the state Department of Workforce Development received more than 540,000 unemployment applications, according to DOA. And Wisconsin applications for FoodShare have more than doubled over the course of the pandemic

Eligible applicants must be an adult Wisconsin resident with a household income at or below 80 percent of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date.

Once approved, eligible individuals may receive assistance of up to $3,000 in a combination of rental payments and/or security deposits. These payments will be paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.

More details about the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, including complete eligibility criteria, application documentation requirements and the distribution process for rental assistance, will be shared in the upcoming days.

Initial details regarding the program are available here.