Millions of dollars of rental assistance available as evictions start to tick up again

Caroline Dade, WKOW | Jan 19, 2022

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MADISON (WKOW) — In the nearly four months since the U.S. Supreme Court ended the CDC’s ban on many evictions, housing advocates say the tidal wave of evictions they worried about hasn’t materialized.

“The crisis that we were expecting didn’t completely come to fruition, but we had a lot of time to prepare and to put some strategies in place to kind of slow down that eviction processing at the court level,” Amber Duddy, the executive director of Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, said Wednesday.

CACSCW provides rental aid to people in Madison as part of the Dane CORE 2.0 program.

Duddy said her organization received $10 million in October when the program launched. As of Saturday, they’ve handed out more than $4.

“We definitely have thousands of households still applying in Dane County, in the city of Madison,” she said. “So, the need is pretty strong, especially for renters right now.”

According to Eviction Lab, though evictions across the country are still below pre-pandemic levels, the number of eviction filings each month is increasing.

Duddy said the same thing is happening in Dane County.

“Courts are adding more dates, or now using, like, Zoom technology, and so they’re squeezing in a lot more folks,” she said. “We are seeing a tick up, but we’re also seeing landlords really appreciate the rental assistance program and [be] willing to kind of stick it out.”

The Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance program is providing billions of dollars in aid each month to people struggling to pay rent.

That money goes to states and local governments, which distribute it through various programs.

Duddy said Wisconsin has provided more than $185 million to nearly 26,000 households in the state.

“When we look across the country, Wisconsin is actually one of the strongest responses to the emergency Rental Assistance Program,” she said. “So, we’ve actually gotten a lot more money out than most states and have had our act together a lot longer.”

If you live in Dane County and are looking to receive aid, Duddy said you should apply through Dane CORE 2.0. If you live outside Dane County, you can find your local aid agency on the Wisconsin Community Action Program’s website.

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