The Governor’s office announced the upcoming closing of the federally funded Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance program (WERA). Applications are set to close on Jan. 31, 2023, due to low remaining funds available. Housing stability services will continue even after rental benefit funds are exhausted.

WERA launched in Feb. 2021 to help families avoid homelessness due to pandemic-related financial hardship. The program was administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration in partnership with WISCAP, the state’s community action agency. As a WISCAP member and WERA program administrator for west central Wisconsin, West CAP has helped 2,617 households, totaling 6,458 individuals keep up with their rent payments and avoid homelessness over the course of the WERA program. Across the state, the program has been able to provide a total of $544 million to help families avoid homelessness related to COVID-19.

“We are grateful for the state’s support in helping to keep families housed over the last two years,” said Executive Director Peter Kilde. “We’ve been able to help thousands of families through this program. Even as this program ends, housing stability continues to be a critical part of our work to support low-income families in west-central Wisconsin.”

West CAP will continue accepting WERA applications until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. Benefits will be paid to the extent that funding remains available, with priority given to households facing imminent eviction.