Press Release: Gov. Evers, WHEDA Announce Workforce and Senior Housing Infrastructure Funding Program

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers, WHEDA Announce Workforce and Senior Housing Infrastructure Funding Program
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), announced today that the Infrastructure Access Loan program is now available to developers and municipalities statewide.

“We made one of the largest state investments in state history in our most recent budget, and I’m excited to see this program and others supporting housing partners across our state,” said Gov. Evers. “We know access to quality, affordable housing is often a barrier folks joining our workforce in communities across our state. Expanding affordable workforce and senior housing is critical to addressing our state’s workforce challenges and building an economy and workforce that can meet the needs of the 21st Century. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts these programs will have on housing access across Wisconsin.”

Access to safe, reliable, and affordable housing is a critical part of helping address the workforce challenges facing the state. For years, Gov. Evers has proposed robust provisions and investments in expanding access to housing statewide, including it in the 2023-25 biennial budget. The governor was glad to have the Wisconsin State Legislature join him in supporting this critical effort, and the budget signed by Gov. Evers provides one of the largest state investments in workforce housing—$525 million—in state history, including measures to fund the Residential Housing Infrastructure Revolving Loan Fund and Program, now called the Infrastructure Access Loan program. This program was then later created in 2023 as part of a bipartisan package of bills Gov. Evers signed to utilize the funds allocated in the budget to help expand access to safe, affordable housing for working families.

“This new program gives us yet another opportunity to add much-needed affordable housing throughout the state by helping developers and municipalities reduce the cost of development—a price that is normally passed on to working individuals, families, and seniors in their rent or mortgage,” said WHEDA CEO and Executive Director Elmer Moore Jr.

The Infrastructure Access Loan program provides loan funding to cover the costs of installing, replacing, upgrading, or improving public infrastructure related to workforce housing or senior housing. These costs are typically covered by the developer. Borrowers can apply for up to 20 percent of the total development cost of residential housing and related infrastructure at a low-interest rate of three percent, or one percent in municipalities with a population of fewer than 10,000 or for senior housing.

According to the Wisconsin Builders Association, excessive and outdated regulations add over $93,000 to the final price of a new home, increasing the total by nearly 24 percent. As a result, the legislation requires municipalities and developers to collaborate when applying for funding.

Along with the Infrastructure Access Loan program, WHEDA is also administering funding for two other loan programs that have emerged from the workforce housing legislation—the Restore Main Street and Vacancy-to-Vitality loam programs. WHEDA will accept applications semi-annually, in the spring and in the fall, for all three loan programs until all funds are distributed to eligible affordable housing projects.

For additional information about the loan programs, please visit WHEDA’s website here
An online version of this release is available here.