Wisconsin

  • State Data Overview

    Across Wisconsin, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.

    K
    e
    y
    F
    a
    c
    t
    s
    186,379
    Or
    24%
    Renter households that are extremely low income
    $25,100
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    -125,011
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    $35,913
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    71%
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Joey Lindstrom

    202.662.1530 x222 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development, Inc.

    121 South Pinckney Street, Suite 200

    Madison, WI 53703

    P 608-258-5560

    F 608-258-5565

    www.wphd.org

    Kathy Kamp, Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Become an NLIHC State Partner

    NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.

    Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF Implementation Information

    NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Joseph Lindstrom with any questions.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    NLIHC Point Person for HTF Advocacy

    Kathy Kamp

    Executive Director

    Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development

    608-258-5560 ext. 34

    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Sean O’Brien

    Director, Commercial Lending

    Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

    608-267-1453

    [email protected]

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    Emily Francis

    Commercial Credit Underwriter

    608-261-2814

    [email protected] 


    Michelle Pobjoy

    608-267-2814

    [email protected]  


    State Entity Webpage

    Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority


    NHTF-specific page

    National Housing Trust Fund

  • Resources
    Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: Wisconsin (PDF)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: Wisconsin (PDF)

    Research and Data

    National Housing Preservation Database

    The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.

    Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In Wisconsin and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In Wisconsin and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Tell Congress to Protect and Expand the National Housing Trust Fund
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Strong Support for Affordable Housing Programs
    Tell Congress that Opportunity Zones Must Benefit Low Income People and Long-Term Residents
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.  

    You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected]

    COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

    Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.

    Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:


    A Shawano homeless shelter had to close its residential services early and relocated many clients to hotels.

    Milwaukee homeless shelters are facing significant challenges from the coronavirus, including ensuring people are social distancing and having to reduce their capacity. Now, shelters are seeing an increase in individuals living outside. 

    Four tribes in Wisconsin are receiving approximately $4.1 million from HUD to support projects, such as the construction of new housing to address homelessness or overcrowding and transitional housing for those under quarantine. The Ho-Chunk Nation said the $1.5 million it received will go toward rent, mortgage, and utility assistance programs. 

    Updated on September 15, 2020


    Since June 1, Community Advocates, a Milwaukee-based organization that serves low-income families and individuals, has received tens of thousands of inquiries and has received more than 4,000 applications for rent assistance. “This new eviction moratorium is a helpful step for tenants facing evictions, but it’s an incomplete policy approach,” says Mike Bare of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. 

    Updated on September 10, 2020.


    COVID-19 is escalating Milwaukee’s housing crisis and exacerbating racial disparities in housing. “Pre-COVID, there was definitely a racial pattern of filings, and that is definitely what we’re seeing now,” said Matt Mleczko, a research assistance with Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. “Though this is a bad situation for renters in general, this is something that yet again is exposing and exacerbating long-running inequalities in cities like Milwaukee.”

    Updated on September 2, 2020.


    Wisconsin organizations are bracing for a rise in evictions and homelessness in the coming months. According to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness, eviction filings were above average in Milwaukee County since Governor Tony Evers allowed the statewide eviction moratorium to expire on May 26.

    Updated on August 25, 2020.


    With rental assistance money going fast, courtrooms reopening and moratoriums lifting, Wisconsin tenant advocates and local and state officials fear a coming surge of evictions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the economy.

    An article in the Milwaukee Independent examines how the U.S. court system, which heavily favors landlords and offers few tenant protections, will exacerbate the COVID-19 housing crisis.

    Updated on August 19, 2020.


    An op-ed in the Isthmus discusses the triple threat of COVID-19, eviction, and climate change. The authors argue that we must develop unique interventions to protect people experiencing homelessness and those living in substandard housing as hot summer temperatures occur across the country amid the pandemic.

    Updated on August 13, 2020.


    Governor Tony Evers allocated $25 million to rental assistance, but it is insufficient to meet the urgent housing needs of Wisconsin renters. “I think we’ll run out of money way before we put a dent into that list [of applications],” said George Hinton, the executive director of the Social Development Commission in Milwaukee.

    Updated on July 28, 2020.


    Racine launched the Racine Emergency Eviction Prevention Program to help low-income residents avoid eviction and prevent homelessness. The Racine Common Council approved $396,712 from its Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG-CV) to fund the program, which is expected to help approximately 300 households.

    Updated on July 20, 2020.


    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Milwaukee County landlords filed nearly 1,500 eviction actions in June, which is a 26% increase over last year. The increase in evictions would likely be higher without the rental assistance programs that Wisconsin and Milwaukee County launched in June, but these programs are unable to meet the significant need for rental assistance.

    Updated on July 7, 2020.


    Two weeks after Wisconsin’s eviction moratorium expired, eviction filings across the state have jumped 42% over 2019 levels. Housing advocates and officials fear that these numbers could grow, especially after the federal eviction moratorium expires July 25.

    Updated on June 22, 2020.


    Nearly 50 eviction filings were filed in Wisconsin courts on May 26, even though the statewide eviction and foreclosure moratorium was still in effect until the end of the day. Governor Tony Evers announced the creation of the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, a $25 million program funded through the CARES Act.

    Updated on June 12, 2020.


    The Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness is urging the state to address the surge of homelessness that is expected to occur when the eviction moratorium is lifted. The coalition offered a three-pronged strategy that includes new funding, housing, and jobs.


    Governor Tony Evers announced the launch of a $25 million Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program that will be funded through federal CARES Act funding. The Department of Administration will administer the program. If approved, applicants would receive rental assistance up to $3,000 in a combination of rental payments, security deposits, and wraparound services. Learn more here.


    Shelter providers in Wisconsin are collaborating with local governments to temporarily move into larger facilities to accommodate social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Ice rinks, recreation centers, and hotels have been transformed into temporary shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

    Dane County

    Dane County announced plans to allocate $10 million in federal disaster relief to reduce evictions and increase access to housing. The county is partnering with the Tenant Resource Center to administer the $10 million eviction-prevention fund using CARES Act funding.

    La Crosse

    Local groups in La Crosse are developing new partnerships to address the housing and health needs of people experiencing homelessness amid the pandemic. While many of the agencies are used to working together to address housing issues in the community, responding to COVID-19 is requiring additional collaboration.

    Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.


    Milwaukee landlords filed for 1,447 evictions in June, 17% higher than pre-pandemic June averages, data from Princeton University’s Eviction Lab show. The city’s 1,347 eviction filings in July were 9% above averages from 2012 to 2016. More than two-thirds of those filings hit Black-majority neighborhoods, according to Eviction Lab data, although Black residents make up just 39% of the population. The disparity highlights Milwaukee’s status as the nation’s most segregated metropolitan area, home to stark racial inequality created and maintained by decades of neglect from business and political leaders, according to research.

    Updated: August 28


    Evictions in Milwaukee were down in the final months of 2019 before the pandemic. The last number recorded for 2019 was 873 evictions per month filed, but with current trends, that number is estimated to surpass more than 1,450 for some months in 2020.

    Updated: August 12


    Governor’s order prohibiting eviction actions based on failure to pay rent and prohibiting execution of eviction orders expired May 26.  Eviction hearings are being conducted remotely. 

    Updated: July 31


    In the third week of July, 12.3% of adults in Wisconsin reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 98,494renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.

    MilwaukeeAccording to the Princeton Eviction Lab, Milwaukee recorded 1,966 evictions in the seven weeks following the expiration of Wisconsin’s state-wide eviction moratorium on May 26, an 89% increase from the seven weeks leading up to the moratorium. July 23

    Updated: July 29


    Eviction filings are up 40% in Wisconsin compared to last year. Applications outpace available assistance.

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    National Media

    What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d

    Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb