I am very pleased to announce that, last night, the Common Council took an important step toward ensuring that efforts in the City of Madison to assist households who have struggled to meet their rent obligations, and the landlords that provide their housing, will continue without interruption. The City, in collaboration with Dane County, will soon launch a new online application portal with additional community partners providing outreach, application assistance, and payment processing to make sure available funds get to those that need them. 

The City will partner with the African Center for Community Development, Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Meadowood Health Partnership, Nehemiah Community Development Corporation/FOSTER of Dane County and Tenant Resource Center to focus services within the City of Madison, while Urban Triage will administer program benefits for households who live in communities within Dane County, but outside City of Madison limits. The rental assistance program will operate under the name Dane CORE 2.0.

Our goal for Dane CORE 2.0 is to help ensure household stability for people experiencing financial hardships, and to prevent evictions. An eviction is much more than a move across town; it can be a life altering event that negatively affects many aspects of a tenant’s life. Once a renter has an eviction on their record, their ability to find a new home becomes much more difficult, options more limited.

To help prevent evictions, we have dedicated $1.7 million in funding to expand our Eviction Defense Program. Services under this program will be provided through collaborations between the Tenant Resource Center, the UW Madison Neighborhood Law Clinic, Legal Action of Wisconsin and Community Justice Inc., and shall be available to qualifying individuals residing in Dane County who have a scheduled eviction trial. These services will be available to all households regardless of immigration status.

This is undoubtedly a challenging time for renters and landlords alike. The eviction moratorium has expired yet many individuals still face financial hardship due to the pandemic. We have the financial resources to help, and to avoid housing instability. I would like to thank the Tenant Resource Center and their dedicated staff who have been administering the local Emergency Rental Assistance program, known as Dane CORE, since February 2021. In that time, they have processed nearly 14,000 applications and provided over $13 million of rental assistance to the community. TRC staff and other community partners like Dane County Collaboration of Black Service Providers, Latinx Collaboration for Action, Freedom Inc and African Center have worked hard to adjust and improve the program in response to program changes made by the federal government. 

As we near the launch of the new Dane CORE 2.0 program, expected by mid-September, we will provide additional detail about it, and how to access it.  Until then please continue to apply through Dane CORE at this Tenant Resource Center website: https://core.tenantresourcecenter.org/apply. I cannot stress enough - if you are a property owner or a renter in need of rental assistance, there is funding available to help!  Please take advantage of it.

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