Skip navigation
Back

For 45 years, WHEDA has demonstrated financial strength and commitment to improving housing quality and economic vitality in Wisconsin. Since 1972, WHEDA has provided low-cost financing for housing and small business development that has created more than 73,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 130,000 families purchase a home and secured more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees.




  • The state Legislature enacts a law and appropriates $250,000 in seed money establishing the Wisconsin Housing Finance Authority (WHFA) to address Wisconsin’s aff ordable housing shortage.
  • WHFA begins principle program operations following a favorable decision on constitutionality by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  • First bond offering raises over $27 million for WHFA multifamily loans.
  • WHFA is the nation’s first state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to successfully market long-term bonds used to finance Section 8 multifamily housing developments.
    1975
  • WHFA is the first HFA to have newly constructed units in occupancy.
  • WHFA is the first HFA in the nation to coordinate the distribution of subsidized housing with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Farmers Home Administration.
  • WHFA surpasses 12,000 units in total production across Wisconsin. Initiates requirement on all WHFA-financed developments to have units designed for the physically disabled.
    1978
  • WHFA repays in full $250,000 in initial seed money appropriated by the state. Began rehabilitation and preservation program of historically significant buildings for multifamily housing.
    1979
  • WHFA issues first bonds for home ownership and single family housing rehabilitation loans. WHFA transitions from manual to computerized data processing to manage its housing portfolio.
    1980
  • WHFA receives $75 million in additional bonding authority for housing rehabilitation loans.
  • Celebrating its tenth anniversary, WHFA sells $100 million in home ownership mortgage revenue bonds to provide a large-scale program for low- to moderate-income home buyers.
    1982
  • In response to the recession, the Authority's mission expands to include business and agriculture financing, becoming the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, or WHEDA.
  • WHEDA surpasses $1 billion in total assets and awards its first grants through the WHEDA Foundation, Inc. to assist special needs housing providers in the acquisition or rehabilitation of housing units.
  • WHEDA provides cash-strapped state farmers with financing through the Credit Relief Outreach Program (CROP), issues its first small business loan financed by tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds, and initiates the WHEDA Foundation Housing Grant program, making it the first HFA in the nation to administer such a program.
  • WHEDA makes use of general reserves to develop the Linked Deposit Loan program, a financial resource designed specifically for women- and minority-owned businesses.
    1986
  • WHEDA is the first and only Wisconsin agency to administer the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which was created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
  • WHEDA offers a first-of-its-kind Drought Relief Guarantee Program to help farmers get through financial hardship.
  • Volume of single family mortgages surpasses the $1 billion plateau. WHEDA begins administering federal Section 8 rent vouchers.
  • The Authority surpasses $2 billion in total assets.
  • WHEDA offers a program to provide long-term financing along with federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).
    1991
  • $2 billion in home ownership lending reached. Led nation by making over 4,500 single family home ownership loans financed by mortgage revenue bonds.
    1992
  • The Wisconsin Preservation Trust is formed to help preserve Section 8 units as affordable housing.
    1993
  • WHEDA is the first HFA to offer a 97% LTV mortgage with private mortgage insurance.
  • State Legislature permanently extends CROP program for Wisconsin farmers.
  • Introduction of FARM loan guarantee program helps farmers expand or make capital improvements. WHEDA makes 1,000th single family mortgage loan in Milwaukee’s central city.
  • WHEDA, with the City of Milwaukee and investors, launches Lindsay Heights. The pilot project initiates housing development in a 110-block area in downtown Milwaukee while focusing on land utilization.
    1997
  • WHEDA makes grants to provide temporary housing for Sheboygan flood victims and Door County tornado victims.
  • More than $52 million closed in multifamily housing loans.
    1999
  • The Authority solidifies its mortgage revenue bond and housing tax credit programs for years to come after winning significant legislation to increase caps for each program.
  • “HouseKey Wisconsin,” the first online mortgage application system in the HFA industry, is launched.
    2001
  • WHEDA has a record-breaking year, closing more than $100 million in multifamily loans, and creating more than 2,000 housing units.
    2002
  • WHEDA increases its statewide African American mortgage lending by 27%.
  • WHEDA is the first HFA to be awarded federal New Markets Tax Credits. This program fuels job creation and economic development efforts by promoting investment in low-income urban and rural communities.
  • The Authority has a record year in single family home ownership lending with over $560 million in first mortgages.
  • WHEDA invests over $4 million in Milwaukee’s Metcalfe Park neighborhood in a new lease-to-purchase program. Construction of 30 homes increased home ownership in the neighborhood.
    2006
  • For the first time, WHEDA awards LIHTCs to multifamily deals on tribal land ($19 million) and to supporting housing developments ($11 million).
  • WHEDA launches an outreach website, WisconsinForeclosureResource.com, to help troubled homeowners.
  • WHEDA receives over $139 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resources to stimulate stalled LIHTC developments around the state.
  • WHEDA becomes the first HFA to offer an exclusive mortgage product in partnership with Fannie Mae.
  • WHEDA is awarded $22.4 million in State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds to administer new lending programs to help create private sector jobs.
    2011
  • WHEDA commits $100 million to the Transform Milwaukee initiative to create jobs, restore output, address the foreclosed properties issue, and create sustainable solutions to rainwater run-off.
  • WHEDA announces its Tax Advantage Mortgage Credit Certificate program which provides a tax credit of up to $2,000 to eligible first-time home buyers.
  • WHEDA launches a no-fee Transform Milwaukee Guarantee program to help Milwaukee small businesses expand operations.
  • WHEDA introduces the Veterans Affordable Loan Opportunity Rate (VALOR) program which offers a below market mortgage rate to qualified veterans.
  • US Treasury awards WHEDA a Capital Magnet Fund grant of $5.47 million to help expand affordable housing.
    2016
  • WHEDA and LISC form a groundbreaking partnership to bring small business financing resources to Milwaukee and rural Wisconsin as well as develop a statewide community revitalization strategy.