Water Tower | La Porte City, IA

Wisconsin CDBG Housing Program Now Regionalized

Kari Justmann | with 0 Comments


Wisconsin CDBG Housing Program Now Regionalized

The State of Wisconsin recently changed the method of distribution for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Housing Program. For many years, individual municipalities could apply directly to the State of Wisconsin for CDBG funds. However, due to the limited funds available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the CDBG funds are now distributed on a regional basis. 
 
The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) has defined seven regions for the CDBG Housing Program.  The allocation for new CDBG funding is distributed through a regional application process, with the exception of Dane, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.  The shared funds are available to all eligible cities, towns, villages, and counties within the region.   
 
CDBG Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Changes 
 
Has your community previously received a CDBG Housing Program and now administers a CDBG RLF program? Under federal regulations, the local RLF program funds must be obligated before contractual funds may be requested from the new regionalized program. 
 
The State sent out letters to all communities with RLF programs at the end of July stating they need to spend any funds they have over $5,000 as quickly as possible, because the regional program cannot spend money in those areas until the RLF program dollars are spent. 
  
Increased Time Commitment
  
Over the last decade, program regulations have become increasingly cumbersome and difficult to follow if you have not attended regular training sessions. This is delaying communities’ ability to apply for new funds under the regionalized program. Additionally, lead-based paint and asbestos requirements have further complicated program requirements. The documentation needed for each individual file is staggering. 

 
Administration Options
 
Many local clerks and housing authority representatives are beginning to look for alternative options when it comes to administering their RLF programs.  External administration of RLF programs allows community officials and staff to spend more time on other municipal activities like finances, meetings, and other clerical duties.
 
Additionally, municipalities can relinquish administration of the CDBG program without incurring any cost to their general fund. The CDBG program pays for itself.  There is no municipal match, and all administrative expenses are paid out of the housing program.
 
Less paperwork at no additional cost?  This makes it a win-win for municipalities!
 
MSA administers numerous CDBG local RLF programs within the Southern Housing Region and throughout Wisconsin. Our staff regularly attends the training provided by the Department of Administration for the CDBG Program so we follow the most current program regulations.  Contact MSA’s Kari Justmann for more information about program administration

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