Community Action News
Community Action Month 2022

Community Action Month 2022

May 10, 2022

The Office of the Governor has proclaimed May “Community Action Month in Wisconsin.” The Governor’s proclamation highlights statewide community action programming in the areas of affordable housing, weatherization, food security, job training, entrepreneurship, Head Start, community economic development, transportation, health, and education. The proclamation comes at a time when community action agencies across the state are are continuing to respond to challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A PDF of the proclamation is accessible here, and the proclamation wording is included below: 


 Whereas; according to the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP), one in ten Wisconsinites lives below the federal poverty line, and more than 17,000 kids and youth across our state experienced homelessness in 2020; and


Whereas; community action agencies are robust state and local forces that connect the people they serve to lifechanging services and create pathways to prosperity, and they can be found in almost every county in the United States; and

Whereas; community action agencies in Wisconsin have made essential contributions to our state, creating economic opportunities for low-income Wisconsinites and strengthening our communities; and

Whereas; WISCAP is comprised of 16 community action agencies, United Migrant Opportunity Services, and the Foundation for Rural Housing, which work together to fight poverty and help folks across our state achieve economic self-sufficiency; and

Whereas; since 1974, community action agencies in Wisconsin have contributed to policy development, community support and advocacy, and programming in the areas of affordable housing, weatherization, food security, employment, entrepreneurship, child development, community economic development, health, and education; and

Whereas; Wisconsin's community action agencies are committed to incorporating and amplifying the voices of the people living in the communities they serve, with a board structure that includes low-income individuals and families, elected officials or their representatives, and local professionals, groups, and interests; and

Whereas; while the coronavirus pandemic has presented unique and unprecedented challenges over the past two years, our community action agencies have consistently stepped up to meet these challenges, developing creative and innovative ways to ensure that all Wisconsinites continue to have access to the quality services and programming they need; and

Whereas; this month, the state of Wisconsin renews its resolve to partner with community action agencies and groups like WISCAP to fight inequities, reduce economic disparities, and provide resources and support to individuals, families, and communities throughout our state;

Now, Therefore; I, Tony Evers, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim May 2022 as COMMUNITY ACTION MONTH
throughout the State of Wisconsin and I commend this observance to all our state's residents.

 
SEVERE SHORTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN WISCONSIN MEANS FAMILIES WITH THE LOWEST INCOMES SUFFER MOST

Contact: Kassidy Farrey, Communications & Outreach Manager
Telephone: 608-244-4422
Email: [email protected]
Website: Wiscap.org

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2022

SEVERE SHORTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN WISCONSIN MEANS FAMILIES
WITH THE LOWEST INCOMES SUFFER MOST

The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, a new report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and WISCAP finds a national shortage of 7 million affordable and available rental homes for the lowest-income households. There are just 36 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 of the lowest-income renter households nationwide. 71% of the poorest renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on housing, with little left over for other basic necessities. The pandemic has only made things worse. Long-term federal investments are needed to combat this housing crisis for the lowest-income renters.

Every year, The Gap reports on the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to extremely low-income families and individuals. Brad Paul, Executive Director of WISCAP, is calling attention to the crisis in affordable housing in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has only 34 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 households with extremely low incomes. We have over 188,000 extremely low-income renters in Wisconsin. 65% of these renters are severely housing cost burdened. Paul says, “Wisconsin can and must do better.”

The report shows how these lowest-income renters were uniquely positioned to suffer disproportionately from the effects of lost income and housing insecurity during the pandemic. Although the federal government took unprecedented actions to protect the lowest-income renters, the government’s actions were temporary. Most eviction moratoriums have been lifted and resources such as federal emergency rental assistance are running out. Longer-term federal investments in affordable housing are needed to combat the underlying shortage of affordable housing that exposed so many of these lowest-income renters to housing instability in the first place.

“The pandemic has made plain our nation’s lack of a housing safety net,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “It is time to invest in long-term housing policies that will finally address the systemic shortage of affordable housing and provide housing stability for the lowest-income families.”

For additional information, visit: https://nlihc.org/gap

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About WISCAP: The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) is the statewide association for Wisconsin’s sixteen (16) Community Action agencies and two single-purpose agencies with statewide focus. You can learn more about WISCAP at wiscap.org

 
Governor Tony Evers Launches Wisconsin Help for Homeowners

Contact:
Kassidy Farrey
Communications & Outreach Manager
WISCAP
608-210-3384

For Immediate Release

Governor Tony Evers Launches Wisconsin Help for Homeowners

The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) and Take Root Wisconsin welcome Governor Evers’ announcement today, in the City of Menomonie, of the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners (WHH) Program.  Federally funded at $92 million, the program will provide grants to income eligible, owner-occupied households who have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship. 

“Over the past two years we’ve witnessed the especially cruel effects of the pandemic on low to moderate income Wisconsinites and their ability to make house payments,” Brad Paul, WISCAP Executive Director stated, “The new homeowner assistance program will make a critical difference for thousands of Wisconsin households.” 

When delivered effectively, rent, mortgage, and property tax assistance can help to stabilize vulnerable households and prevent eviction and foreclosure. Since June 2020, WISCAP’s statewide network of Community Action Agencies have played a critical role in the distribution of over $150 million dollars of rent assistance, serving almost 50,000 Wisconsin households in every county of the state. Now with the announcement of WHH, Governor Evers, the Department of Administration, and the State Treasurer’s office have partnered in designing a program to extend similar emergency assistance to vulnerable homeowners.  

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to Wisconsin Help for Homeowners, please visit
www.homeownerhelp.wi.gov

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About WISCAP: The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) is the statewide association for Wisconsin’s sixteen (16) Community Action agencies and two single-purpose agencies with statewide focus. You can learn more about WISCAP at wiscap.org

 
WERA January Update 2022

WERA PASSES $100 MILLION IN EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS

Contact: Kassidy Farrey, Communications Manager
Phone: (608) 244-4422
Email: [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2022

The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA) program has passed $100 million in payments distributed to over 22,000 Wisconsin households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is made possible through partnership of the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), WISCAP, community action agencies and Energy Services, Inc. The program is operated in 68 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties through this network.

WERA provides up to 18 months of financial assistance for current and overdue payments of rent, utilities, water, and internet. Eligible applicants include Wisconsin residents who demonstrate a risk of experiencing housing instability, have seen their income impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and earn a household income at or below 80 percent of the county median income. Rental and utility assistance payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenant. 

Brad Paul, Executive Director of WISCAP, said “the pandemic has laid bare just how fragile housing security can be for far too many Wisconsinites. This program has had a significant impact on helping those vulnerable individuals and families stay in their homes. A key driver of the program’s success had been the strong leadership of Secretary Brennan and the efficient administration of WERA by his team at DOA. We wish Secretary Brennan well in his return to the private sector and look forward to continuing the work with Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld.”

If you know of anyone that needs emergency rental assistance you can get help at your local Community Action Agency. You can find it at www.wiscap.org/wera.

 
Hiring

WISCAP is Hiring!

Finance Specialist - Click here for full job description

  


 

 

 

 
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