Kenosha County Treasurer Teri Jacobson is encouraging homeowners with financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic to access a new state program that is providing assistance with mortgage payments, property taxes and utility bills.
The Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program, announced by Gov. Tony Evers earlier this week, is set to provide more than $92 million in financial assistance, using support provided through the American Rescue Plan Act.
This program was an outgrowth of the work of a Treasurers’ Homeowners Task Force that State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski selected Jacobson to chair in 2020.
“Our goal from the start was to empower homeowners and create a dedicated network of resources for homeownership, and this new program fits that bill to a T,” Jacobson said. “For people who may have lost work or fallen behind bills due to the pandemic, the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program may be the difference between keeping and losing a home.”
The program offers eligible homeowners assistance with mortgage payments, local property taxes and utilities (including internet), as well as financial counseling and legal services.
It is available to Wisconsin homeowners who live in single-family residences, condominiums, duplexes, or factory-build homes as a primary residence, have experienced a qualified financial hardship after Jan. 21, 2020, and earn a household income at or below 100 percent of the area median income. (An income calculator is available here.)
“This program has the power to improve the lives of many Kenosha County homeowners,” Jacobson said. “I encourage people to reach out and see how it might be able to help them. The program is being administered locally by the Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, which has already helped so many residents in our area.”
An online application and more information about the program are available on the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners website, at https://homeownerhelp.wi.gov. A call center is also offering information about application options, at 855-2-HOME-WI.
Another program available:
Jacobson said the task force she chaired also created a statewide homeownership network called Take Root Wisconsin that is working to help people become homeowners, remain homeowners, and help with repair work.
“I encourage people in the community to also sign up with that program if they need assistance in those areas that are outside the scope of the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program,” Jacobson said.
More information about Take Root Wisconsin is available at https://www.takerootwi.org.