Guest blog post by Johanna Jimenez, Program Manager for Take Root Wisconsin
On March 7 the State of Wisconsin launched Wisconsin Help for Homeowners (WHH), a statewide program that can help with overdue bills like mortgage payments, property taxes, and utilities. While it’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected so many people, homeowners found themselves with new, multiple financial burdens due to the ripple effects of the pandemic. Many financial institutions offered borrower forbearance programs that are now ending, yet there are homeowners still experiencing financial impacts.
Throughout 2020-2021, multi-sector stakeholders came together under the leadership of Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski’s Statewide Homeownership Network to identify strategies to help homeowners. One of the outcomes was the recommendation to form a statewide network to connect homeowners to much-needed resources – the result was Take Root Wisconsin. Our first initiative as a consortium is the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program.
The program is open to individuals and families who live in Wisconsin with overdue housing-related bills, both with and without a mortgage, who meet income and other eligibility requirements, and have experienced a qualified economic hardship since January 21, 2020. All information regarding the WHH program can be found at DOA Wisconsin Help For Homeowners, including an online application form.
With a strong foundational blueprint from Take Root Milwaukee, Take Root Wisconsin will be working to “call on communities across the state to come together and Take Root.” Building on the Take Root brand, our hope is to grow the statewide network of trusted homeownership resources for communities. As a program of WISCAP and working with the Wisconsin Department of Administration and our members, our focus will be on the increasing first-time homeownership, preventing property tax and mortgage foreclosures, and to develop the sustainable framework for the statewide network.
Learn more about Take Root Wisconsin at www.takerootwi.org and please share information about the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program with your neighbors, colleagues, and friends!