WI-CARH Summer 2021
Message from Russell Kaney WI-CARH President
Where Did My Summer Go?

Summer is rapidly coming to a close. The weather still screams summer, Autumn officially begins September 22 but the start of school, football season, shorter days, all put us in that “fall” frame of mind. 

How was your summer? The summer of 2021 felt much different than the summer of 2020. We were less constrained in travel, gatherings became more predictable, the health pandemic seemed to be in our rear-view mirror. But lately, we have all had to adjust once again to a resurgence of COVID-related issues in our daily lives and in your business of housing people. Things have improved although some areas of the country appear to be doing better than others.

Fall is a great time of year and I always look forward to our annual WI-CARH conference. However, as noted further in our newsletter, our Board has decided to postpone our 2021 in-person conference and look ahead to a gathering in 2022. Being cautious and conscience of our surroundings, the health of our members and guests, all led to this decision. Information on our schedule of trainings to replace our conference event is included in this newsletter, and we hope you can attend these sessions.

We always look forward to your questions, comments, or anything else we can be doing through WI-CARH to add value to your organization. Do not hesitate to contact WI-CARH with your thoughts.

Russell D. Kaney
President, WI-CARH
WI-CARH's Spring Training was a Success
Fair Housing was the topic of our virtual spring training event held on
May 11. Ronnette Smith, Senior Trainer from Zeffert & Associates covered a variety of topics. (Click on logos to go to sponsors' websites.)
WI-CARH 23rd Annual Conference
It's Deja Vue, All Over Again

The above statement, attributed to baseball legend Yogi Berra, sums up another dramatic year of health and housing. As we approached the spring, then summer months, most of us anticipated a surge of activity as businesses were allowed to operate at full capacity, sporting events had fans in the stands, even the Olympics took place after a year delay.

However, the current surge of the Delta variant has been well-publicized and many organizations and companies as well as the public are reexamining protocols and procedures to keep their employees, customers, and households safe.

Keeping these circumstances in mind, WI-CARH through its’ conference planning committee, has decided to postpone our annual in-person conference originally scheduled for October 28, 2021, at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells. This postponement to 2022 did not come lightly, however, we felt that the attendance would suffer due to health concerns, our inability to get several speakers to attend in person, and sponsorships. We are disappointed that we could not gather this year after our postponement in 2020.

The good news, we have booked the same date for next year at the Wilderness which has been completely understanding and accommodating.

In place of the conference, we have scheduled a series of training and information sessions to be held on four consecutive Thursdays starting on October 28th. Why this format? All of us have likely attended conferences or training sessions or meetings lasting a full day or more. Whether via Zoom or Team or another platform, you can easily become distracted, annoyed, or just get tired of sitting and watching a screen all day. This format will limit our sessions to one hour, once per week, you choose whether the subject matter is relevant to you and your staff.

Starting out, our first session on October 28th will feature Karissa Stiers, Midwest Regional Director, Midwest Region Field Operations Division. In the Rural Development realignment, Karissa oversees a 12-state region that includes Wisconsin. She will bring us the latest news on the realignment and functions of each team and division.

November 4th will feature a session on the lease. WI-CARH contracts with Kevin Martin, Partner at Michale Best & Friedrich LLP to review the WI-CARH lease each year to ensure that the lease and addendums meet not only Rural Development requirements but also the State of Wisconsin requirements. These leases are available for purchase from WI-CARH at a reasonable cost. This service allows you, as an owner, management company, or housing authority to have the confidence that your lease will stand up in the event of judicial action and not have to source and pay your own attorney for the same service. Questions for Kevin will be encouraged, and we hope you will send your topics and issues to WI-CARH prior to the session in the event Kevin needs to research the issue. We will cover the effects of the moratorium which everyone has had to deal with.

Our third session to be held on November 11th will feature Larry Anderson of Get RD Done Right. Since retiring in 2010 after 31 years with Rural Development, including Director of the Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, Larry has consulted with owners, managers as well as Fannie Mae, Duty to Serve program, NeighborWorks, and many other organizations looking for rural housing expertise. He will offer his perspective on the changes with Rural Development and how to navigate the current realignment, preservation opportunities within the RD portfolio and how to make the critical decisions of staying in or leaving the program (prepayment).

Our last session, to be held on November 18th, will be case studies of actual transactions using resources available in the State of Wisconsin to recapitalize and rehab your properties. Staff from Wisconsin Management will walk through the highlights and headaches of making an older property new again.

Register for our Fall Training and Information Sessions
Sign up for our Fall Training and Information Sessions. All sessions will take place from 2:00-3:00 pm via Zoom. Please sign up for one or sign up for all four. Sessions are free.

October 28, 2021 - Realignment of Rural Development, Guest Karissa Stiers, RD-USDA Midwest Director.

November 4, 2021 - Lease Updates and Changes, Partner Kevin Martin, will review the lease for 2022 and discuss moratorium hangover issues.

November 11, 2021 - RD Changes, prepayments, RA updates from Larry Anderson, consultant, former Director of Rural Housing Preservation, USDA.

November 18, 2021 - Case Studies, recent acquisitions, and rehabs highlighting the process (old vs new) and resources available.

Registration is now open!


Become a Sponsor at our Fall Training and Information Sessions
We would like to invite you to join us as a Sponsor at our Fall Training and information sessions to be held on October 28, November 4, November 11, and November 18.

For more information or to register, please fill out the form or contact the WI-CARH office at info@wicarh.org for more information. 
Youth Grant and Scholarship Opportunities
Wisconsin Council for Affordable & Rural Housing (WI-CARH) is accepting applications for the Youth Grant and Scholarship program.  Please spread the word and help us make a difference in a student's future! Youth grants in the amount not to exceed $500 per student, per year, until all funds are used, will be awarded to enable students in grades 3-12 to participate in an academic enrichment activity. Eligible activities include: Little League, Soccer, Volleyball or Basketball Leagues, 4H Camp, Music or Band Camp, Sports Camp, Cheerleading Camp, Girl Scouts or Boy Scout Camp, and an International Youth Exchange Program. These activities are on a year-round basis and not limited to the summer.

Help your residents achieve their educational goals. A $500 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior or adult wishing to further their education. Eligible applicants can use the scholarship at any two (2) year or higher accredited public or private school in the State of Wisconsin which offers an associate or undergraduate degree or a vocational/technical program. 

Applications for the grant and scholarship program are being accepted now. Please check our website for more information. If you would like to have a flyer for your property please click on the grant flyer and the scholarship flyer.  

USDA Statement on the Affordable Housing Crisis

WASHINGTON, August 25, 2021 — As the nation continues to grapple with an affordable housing crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA is committed to supporting our tenants and owners. In addition to previous actions taken by the Biden Administration, USDA will now offer:

  • Additional support to property owners waiting to receive the U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds by allowing them access to reserves for operating shortfalls.
  • Financial incentives to property management agents that tap ERA to clear arrearages.
  • Increased support from USDA field staff to amplify ERA to local leaders and public housing authorities in rural communities.

USDA will contact owners with additional information on these actions. While USDA will continue to provide direct support to its over-burden tenants, since the Spring of 2021, we have also worked to promote the Treasury Department’s ERA program in rural America by contacting over 250,000 email subscribers, mailing 65,000 letters to un-assisted USDA tenants, providing hard copy materials in USDA state offices, and sharing information with key stakeholder groups at the national, regional and state levels.

The delivery of ERA is ramping up as a result of these efforts and the hard work of public servants in state and local governments across the nation. State and local programs have distributed more than $5 billion in assistance out of the $25 billion allocated under the first round of ERA (ERA1). About 1 million payments have been made since January. In July alone, more than 340,000 households received $1.7 billion in rental and utilities assistance, up 15% from June, and more than double the number of households served in May. The latest data also demonstrates that ERA funds reached the lowest income tenants, with more than 60% of households served falling between 0 and 30% of area median income. But some state and local governments must do better. Money is available in every state to help renters who are behind on rent and at risk of eviction, as well as landlords.

Our country and economy are in a stronger position now than they were in January 2021, yet households across the country, especially those that are not vaccinated, remain vulnerable to COVID-19 and its associated impacts, including housing insecurity. Helping our fellow Americans, including our Veterans, keep their homes will go a long way in making sure that they have one less thing to worry about as they rebuild their lives coming out of this crisis and try to keep their loved ones safe. Visit cfpb.gov/housing to learn more about rental assistance in your area.

Statement Release No. 0188.21
Contact: USDA Press
Email: press@usda.gov

Covid-19 Response Information

Please visit our links below to gain the most up-to-date information regarding the impacts of Covid-19 pertaining to affordable housing providers and managers.

CARH - Covid 19 Updates and Information link
USDA - Covid 19 link
Rural Development - Wisconsin - Covid 19 link
Mark Your Calendars - 2021 Dates

September 14, 2021: Board Meeting

October 28, 2021 - 2:00-3:00 pm via Zoom: Rural Development realignment will feature Karissa Stiers, Midwest Regional Director, Midwest Region Field Operations Division.

October 29, 2021: Board Meeting

November 4, 2021 - 2:00-3:00 pm via Zoom: WI-CARH Lease with Attorney Kevin Martin

November 11, 2021 - 2:00-3:00 pm via Zoom: Changes with Rural Development will feature Larry Anderson

November 18, 2021 - 2:00-3:00 pm via Zoom: Case studies of actual transactions using resources available in the State of Wisconsin to recapitalize and rehab your properties. Staff from the Wisconsin Management Company will facilitate.
Do you have news to share?
We would love to hear about it!
Please submit your news to info@wicarh.org