Funding available for eviction support
County residents can receive up to $3K in housing assistance
By Nikki Brahm
WAUKESHA — Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS), in partnership with Waukesha County, announced on Thursday they received $295,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding through the CARES Act to offer residents rental, utility and eviction support.
The growing need for housing assistance comes during the COVID-19 pandemic, as residents are facing new challenges, including the end to the extra $600 per month in unemployment benefit assistance, which expires today amid disagreement in Congress about how to prolong it. The statewide eviction moratorium put in place during COVID-19 expired in late May and the moratorium on utility disconnections during COVID-19 expired July 25.
LSS will work in collaboration with Waukesha County to offer residents services that will address these concerns.
Waukesha County residents experiencing housing instability or eviction due to COVID-19 can apply for up to $3,000 in rent and utility payments while grant funding lasts.
Eligible households must live in Waukesha County, have an annual household income that is 80% of the area median income and must have proof of a W9 signed by the landlord and a landlord agreement that financial assistance is needed.
This funding will support about 100 households.
Vice President for Housing Services/Facility and Asset Management Dennis Hanson said the role of LSS is to receive the initial applications, ensure the individual and their place of residence are qualified, and help provide the funds to have the individual remain in their current home.
“We’ve been encouraging individuals that we work with all along, even during the moratorium, to be in contact with their landlords and to try to work out payment arrangements,” Hanson said. “We’re really just trying to make people aware that the moratorium really did not forgive the funds that were owed; it just put a limited period where no action could be taken.”
Hanson said individuals who are evicted have a harder time getting another rental due to screening.
“I’m sure that there’s going to be more need than the 100 households that can be served at present,” he said. “I do not anticipate any problem filling all 100 slots.”
LSS provides other services as well, including housing services and skills programs.
To access these funding resources tenants can call 855-397-9520 or visit www.waukeshacounty.gov/communitydevelopment to begin the process. They are encouraged to leave a message and LSS staff will call them back to walk them through the next steps.
For more information on LSS housing programs, visit www.lsswis.org/housing.
“The county has been a wonderful partner in this and we’re just thrilled to be working with them to impact the residents of Waukesha County in a positive way,” Hanson said.