Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Evers Allocating $20 Million For Affordable Housing Projects

Program could move 17 Milwaukee projects from rendering to reality.

By - Apr 28th, 2022 05:51 pm
EIGHTEEN87 on Water. Rendering by Continuum Architects + Planners.

EIGHTEEN87 on Water. Rendering by Continuum Architects + Planners.

Governor Tony Evers is throwing a lifeline to dozens of affordable housing projects stuck in limbo because of rising construction costs.

Evers is allocating $20 million from the state’s federal American Rescue Plan Act grant to fill financing gaps in affordable housing projects that were allocated tax credits in 2020 or 2021. Construction costs rose during the pandemic as a result of supply chain issues and now inflation pressures are further pushing costs up.

“I often talk about connecting the dots and affordable housing is one of the most important dots we can connect,” said Evers in a press release. “Affordable housing links business growth, job creation, and education, and it’s good for our workforce, our kids and families, and our seniors. This is a critical investment that will help more folks have access to safe, affordable housing while bolstering community well-being throughout our state.”

The effort is intended to move approximately 1,800 units of affordable, rental housing from the drawing board to construction.

Seventeen Milwaukee projects would be eligible for the funding, including a number of proposals that have recently received extensions on purchase agreements from the city.

The money would be allocated by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), which is the entity that originally allocated low-income housing tax credits to each proposal.

The income tax credits, often sold at a discount to institutional investors, are awarded at a fixed amount and require specific units to be set aside at specific below-market rates to qualifying individuals based on area income levels. Pre-pandemic, the city began creating small tax incremental financing districts to plug financing gaps in specific projects, but the cost issue is now impacting virtually every affordable housing project.

“WHEDA’s housing tax credit program has a long-standing history of advancing housing equity and economic opportunity for the people of our state,” said newly-appointed WHEDA CEO and Executive Director Elmer Moore Jr. “We know that demand for these highly competitive credits far outpace availability. That is why it is important for us to work together to help get these housing projects across the finish line despite the challenging market conditions our developer partners are facing.”

The announcement comes on top of a February announcement that Evers would use ARPA funding to plug financing gaps in five affordable housing projects in the city. Each of those projects meets the criteria for the newly-announced grant program.

A press release announced that eligible projects would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to assess their needs.

Eligible Milwaukee Projects

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2 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Evers Allocating $20 Million For Affordable Housing Projects”

  1. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Joe Biden is requesting more money for his war against Russia… Normally he asks for $7 billion taxpayer dollars… This time he wants $33 billion.

    Two weeks from now, Biden is going to ask for an additional $50 billion war dollars… then $80 billion… then $120 billion.. then $200 billion…

    Joe Biden has been trying to send F-35 fighter jets to Taiwan to threaten China.

    How many affordable housing projects can be built in Milwaukee with $33 billion dollars… or $200 billion dollars?

  2. Polaris says:

    My family benefitted from assisted living at Northlawn, back in the day when it was veteran’s housing and my dad was discharged from the Army. I was barely 2 years old and both my parents got jobs at American Can Company. Three years later they bought our first house at 38th and Center. Mom finished her degree and became a teacher with MPS. Dad became a cop. This leg up was so long ago that I usually don’t remember, and my two sisters have no memory of it.

    Assisted living can mean so very much and, as much as we ogle office tower renderings on this site, it’s ever more important these days with intractable poverty, gentrification, etc. I’m glad this funding is being made available.

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