I want to reach out to renters in Madison who may be struggling to pay their rent, and to landlords who are themselves facing financial challenges because some of their tenants are unable to keep up with rent payments.  

My message to both groups is that help is available locally through the City and Dane County sponsored Dane CORE Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program has already provided more than $10 million to help renters pay past due rents.  We know there continues to be a great need in the community for this kind of help and are taking steps to meet it. In anticipation of the eviction moratorium expiring July 31st, I requested, and received a commitment from the State of Wisconsin, for an additional $16 million in rental assistance aid and, pending approval by the Common Council on August 3rd, that money will become immediately available. 

Tenants need to understand their rights. Eviction is a formal legal process that a landlord must follow in order to force someone from their property. In Wisconsin, however, only the courts can order someone be removed from their home. And once a court issues an eviction order, only the sheriff’s department can remove, or supervise the removal of, a tenant from their home. This is the law in Wisconsin and because it is so important that households facing the possibility of eviction be able to exercise their rights, my request to the State included $1 million to expand legal services to low-income tenants. 

Our priority is to ensure community members stay safely housed as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. I also understand that landlords depend upon stable rent payments to provide quality housing to their tenants.  By helping to pay back due rents, Dane CORE supports both renters and landlords.  

I am once again asking Madison landlords and property owners to work with us, to take advantage of these financial resources, and to help keep their tenants stably housed. As a community we need to work together to ensure everyone is included as we “Build Back Better” from this pandemic.  With respect to ensuring housing stability, that goal is within our grasp if we are willing to make the effort.  The resources are there. Please be patient as Dane CORE applications get processed and understand that it offers the means to help renters pay rental arrears without the need to file eviction notices. 

The application process for rent assistance can be initiated by either the property owner or renter. Information will be required from both. For information about program eligibility and how to start the online application process under the Dane CORE Emergency Rental Assistance Program, please visit the Tenant Resource Center’s website at https://core.tenantresourcecenter.org.   

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