MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERA) is stepping into the 21st century by helping out with internet costs.
Gov. Tony Evers announced on Wednesday, July 7 that WERA, which provides rental and utility assistance to households affected by the pandemic, will begin to include coverage of internet costs for qualifying households. To date, the state program has provided more than $38 million to nearly 11,000 households and is working to distribute available funds to eligible households and individuals.
Eligible applicants include Wisconsin residents who meet the following criteria:
- One or more individuals within the household have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship dues, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- A household income at or below 80% of county median income.
The state received over $322 million in the first round of Emergency Rental Assistance Funds. The effort is funded by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program through the U.S. Department of Treasury and administered in the state by the DOA.
The DOA has partnered with Wisconsin Community Action agencies and Energy Services, Inc. to accept applications and distribute rental, internet and utility assistance. Residents of Brown, Dane, Milwaukee, and Waukesha counties and the cities of Madison and Milwaukee can apply directly to their local government’s rental assistance provider.