The Wisconsin Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (WI-CARH) was established in 1999 as a state chapter of the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, a national not for profit organization dedicated to the advocacy of rural and affordable housing throughout the United States of America.

Welcome to Wisconsin CARH - Celebrating 25 Years!

WI-CARH Newsletter - Fall 2015

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2015 Annual Meeting & Conference

Rural Housing: 21st Century Solutions Required

The Wisconsin Council for Affordable & Rural Housinginvites you to attend our 18th annual meeting and conference at a great venue - the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin on Thursday, November 5th. A full day of training, education, and networking has been scheduled. This year, we are excited to host Elaine Simpson of Occupancy Solutions. Her interactive presentation will enlighten us all and provide inexpensive ideas to retain your current residents.

Our conference theme, "Rural Housing: 21st Century Solutions Required" will help you stay motivated, informed, and on track with the challenges of today's rural housing industry. Sessions include 504 compliance, updates from state agencies, actionable tactics for using the internet, management plan, and transitioning your property to be smoke free. We'll also hear from the Executive Director of CARH on the current status on the funding and programs that impact the rural housing industry.

The deadline to register at the reduced rates of $210 for members and $360 for non-members ends on Monday, October 5th. After that, the price increases $75! In addition, the special hotel room rate of $109 at the Kalahari will no longer be available. Further details including online registration can be found on our website.

Brent Hall Memorial

By Chris Hand, Affordable Housing & Service Department, Wisconsin Management Company, Inc.

On June 21, 2015 the affordable housing community lost a good friend, colleague, & industry partner, Brent Hall of USDA Rural Development. Brent passed away unexpectedly and is survived by his wife and two young children. Brent was very passionate about the USDA Rural Development program, the property owners, the residents, the management companies, and everyone that assisted in providing affordable housing. He truly enjoyed working in a business that had a positive impact on people's lives. As passionate as Brent was about affordable housing, it pales in comparison to his passion and love for his wife and children. He coached baseball and football, officiated swim meets, was a meet manager and board member of the SPDY swim team, and the list goes on. Brent was a very special person that is dearly missed by many.

In memory of Brent, a memorial fund has been established at the Central Wisconsin Credit Union Plover location to help with future expenses of Brent's children. Wisconsin Management Company donated nine tickets to the Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks game on September 20 and raffled them off as a fundraiser on behalf of the Brent Hall Memorial Fund. This was a great success! With the support of employees, industry partners, Rural Development, and property owners, $3,225 was raised and donated to the memorial.

Wisconsin Management Company would like to thank all of those who participated!

New WI-CARH Members

Welcome Mishicot Housing Corporation and Stevens Point Housing Authority!

Join us in welcoming Kenneth Beine, Manager of Mishicot Housing Corporation. Kenneth can be reached at and his full contact information is available on our membership list on our website.

In addition, please welcome Donna Bella, Executive Director of Stevens Point Housing Authority. Donna can be reached at Her full contact information is also available on our membership list on our website.

More information about becoming a member of WI-CARH can be found here.

Available Soon: WI-CARH 2016 Residential Lease

Orders Now Being Accepted!

The WI-CARH lease is approved for use at any Rural Development supervised property. Using this lease for your property will insure that you are in compliance with Wisconsin law and RD and HUD regulations while saving you the expense of hiring a lawyer to do the same thing.

WI-CARH's 2016 residential lease is currently in the process of being updated to be in compliance with Wisconsin law. It will then be sent to both Rural Development (RD) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for their approval. As soon as that happens, the WI-CARH office will send it to the printer and to Simply Computer in order to complete the final steps required before making them both available for purchase.

Due to the increase in costs associated with providing this lease, there has been an increase in the fees for the 2016 lease. To purchase the lease, complete the lease order form found on our website and mail it in with your payment to the WI-CARH office. Orders will be processed as soon as the leases are available.

Disparate Impact Ruling Creates Opportunities

By Brian Coate, Vice President, Lancaster Pollard

Although the original intent of the Fair Housing Act (Act) was to provide equal housing opportunities for protected citizens, the nation's neighborhoods are increasingly segregated into two groups, further perpetuating the prophecy of the 1967 Kerner Commission Report of "two societies, one black, one white-separate and unequal."

Signed into law days after the death of Martin Luther King in 1968, the Act prohibits individuals and entities from refusing to sell or rent housing to any individual because of race. While the purpose of the Act was to equalize access to housing, the law has had questionable impact on eradicating racial isolation. According to a 2012 report by Gary Orfield, John Kucsera, and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, the typical black or Latino today attends school with almost double the share of low-income students in their schools than the typical white or Asian student.

However, a U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer may make it easier for developers around the nation to build low-income housing in high-income neighborhoods. In a 5-4 decision, the Court paved the way for disparate impact to be challenged under the Fair Housing Act. Disparate impact is when a policy that may appear to be neutral has a discriminatory effect on a group based on race, sex, age or disability. These claims often use statistical models to prove disparity, rather than behaviors of unequal treatment. The Supreme Court ruled that discrimination doesn't have to be intended, and disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Act.

Read the full article here.

Lancaster Pollard is a member of WI-CARH. To learn more about becoming a member, please visit our website.

Impact Seven Begins Rehab at Barron County Housing

By Emily Gall, Director of Marketing and Communications, Impact Seven

The Barron County Housing project was acquired by Impact Seven in August of 2014, following the initiation of a prepayment request that could have ended the project's affordability for low-income individuals and families. The three properties are located in three neighboring communities along the Highway 53 corridor in Barron County, Wisconsin.

A mix of two and three bedroom apartments, all 40 units are restricted to households earning 50% of the median income or less. All tenants benefit from project-based Section 8 rental assistance, which subsidizes rent amounts above 30% of their household income.

With the help of Federal Home Loan Bank HOME funds, Impact Seven is able to begin the rehabilitation and renovation stage of the project later this month. Upgrades will focus on energy efficiency, including replacing all windows, upgrading A/C units, new Energy Star-rated appliances and more. Units will also see accessibility upgrades to meet HUD's visitability standards.

Impact Seven works to make sure that rural Wisconsin communities have access to affordable housing opportunities. While this may sometimes require new developments, this goal can also be achieved by ensuring the future of existing affordable housing stock, as is the case for Barron County Housing. In 2014, Impact Seven was the recipient of the 2014 NEXT Seed Capital Award from Wells Fargo, in recognition of this strategy to preserve affordable housing for very low income individuals and families in Rural Wisconsin.

Impact Seven is a member of WI-CARH. For more information on becoming a member, visit our website.

Adams County Housing Authority Purchases 8-unit RD Property

By Chris Hand, Affordable Housing & Service Department, Wisconsin Management Company, Inc.

Earlier this year, the Adams County Housing Authority along with its management agent, Wisconsin Management Company, applied for and was granted Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) funds as part of a plan to purchase an 8-unit Rural Development property in Adams Wisconsin. Funding will include deferral of existing debt and a new loan for more than $250,000 that will include deferred payments. As part of the purchase, the apartment building will be completely renovated and will include many accessibility features such as moving the laundry facilities from the basement to the first floor and creating a fully accessible apartment. The transaction is expected to close in late 2015 with construction set to begin in early 2016.

Wisconsin Management Company is a member of WI-CARH. For more information on becoming a member, visit our website.

Section 8 Wait List - Who Applied?

By Rob Dicke, Executive Director, Dane County Housing Authority

On August 4th 2015 the Dane County Housing Authority opened its Section 8 Wait List for the first time since 2007. The list has been closed for so long because in 2007 it was opened for two months and in that time over 5,000 families applied. The applications were delivered in sacks by the Postal Service and it took staff weeks to enter all the applications. With limited financial assistance from HUD, it took almost eight years to serve them all.

Recently other areas of Wisconsin had Section 8 Wait lists open to people lined up around the block waiting for hours to have their applications date and time stamped, or allowed thousands of people to enter a lottery for a chance to be placed on the list, knowing only a fraction would get that chance. I was determined that when the DCHA opened our list things would be different.

Read the full blog post here.

Dane County Housing Authority is a member of WI-CARH. For more information on becoming a member, visit our website.
Contact Laura Mason, Executive Assistant PO Box 394, Mount Horeb, WI 608.437.2300
Save the Date! November 5, 2015 WI-CARH Annual Meeting & Conference