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WHEDA’s rural affordable workforce housing initiative

The shortage of affordable workforce housing in rural Wisconsin poses far-reaching challenges. Access to safe, affordable shelter is fundamental to the sustainability of our communities because housing provides a foundation for public health, economic well-being and environmental stewardship. If Wisconsin is to thrive, rural communities require effective tools and support to develop affordable workforce housing.

WHEDA’s rural affordable workforce housing initiative represents an effort to address these challenges. The initiative, funded in part through WHEDA’s $16.7 million 2019-20 Dividends for Wisconsin Plan and other reserves, features a $10 million workforce housing pilot effort in at least three rural communities as well as supplemental financing tools.

While the supplemental financing tools tackle technical gaps in existing programs, the rural, affordable workforce housing pilot establishes an adaptive framework to identify needs, evaluate choices and implement solutions. To succeed, the initiative requires the support and participation of many partners.

Join us in the effort!

WHEDA encourages interested communities to apply for participation in the pilot. Developers, lenders, local employers, health care and housing providers, regional planners, elected officials, community residents and members of the news media also will be vital as the community pilots seek to identify barriers, research solutions and communicate opportunities.

Watch our Webinars

Watch the Webinar
Download the slides (.pdf)

Watch the webinar
Download the slides (.pdf)


News Releases

Read the plan

Apply for pilot community participation

Pilot community applications were due Aug. 31, 2020. The application review process is underway. Participating communities will be announced in October 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact information:

For media inquiries or to request more information, contact:
Jennifer Sereno
WHEDA public affairs