By Shereen Siewert

State officials on Wednesday launched a $25 million program to provide direct financial assistance for rent and security deposits for people who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The effort is being funded through federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars, according to Gov. Tony Evers.

Eligible applicants must be an adult Wisconsin resident with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date.  Once approved, eligible individuals may receive assistance of up to $3,000 in a combination of rental payments and/or security deposits.

Payments will be given directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.

DOA will partner with Wisconsin Community Action Program Association member agencies to accept applications from interested individuals and distribute the rental assistance.

“Collaborations with ‘boots-on-the-ground’ partner organizations will be critical to ensuring eligible Wisconsin residents are aware of this new program and are able to receive rental assistance relief quickly,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan.

More details about the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, including complete eligibility criteria, application documentation requirements, and the distribution process for the rental assistance, will be shared in the upcoming days. Initial details regarding the program are available here.