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  • Who We Are

    The Wisconsin Legislature created the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) in 1972 to meet an increasing need for affordable housing financing. The Legislature broadened WHEDA’s purpose in 1983 to include financing for the expansion of business and agricultural activity in Wisconsin. 

    WHEDA works closely with lenders, developers, local government, nonprofits, community groups and others to implement its low-cost financing programs. Since 1972, WHEDA has financed more than 77,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 118,000 families purchase a home and made more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees.

    WHEDA is an independent authority, not a state agency, and receives no tax dollars for its programs and operations. As a lender, WHEDA has over $3 billion in assets.

    WHEDA History

    Over 40 Years of Service and Getting Better

    2014 - WHEDA issues its first Transform Milwaukee Loan Guarantee (TMG), an exclusive product offering created specifically to help small businesses located in the Transform Milwaukee area to obtain or refinance a loan through a Wisconsin lender to expand their business.

    2013 - WHEDA launches the Refi Advantage, the Authority's first refinance mortgage product designed specifically to make home ownership more affordable for current WHEDA homeowners. WHEDA also announces the creation of the High Impact Project Reserve (HIPR) program - a special round of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits awarded to a project that has strong economic development/redevelopment attributes, significant community impact, and/or features job creation/retention.

    2012 - WHEDA commits $100 million to the “Transform Milwaukee” initiative, a public-private partnership focused on restoring economic prosperity to the industrial, residential and transportation areas connecting Milwaukee’s 30th St. Industrial Corridor, Menomonee Valley, Port of Milwaukee and the Aerotropolis, located south of General Mitchell International Airport.

    2011 - WHEDA is awarded $22.4 million in State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds to administer new lending programs to help create private sector jobs.

    2010 - Announced the WHEDA Fannie Mae Advantage, WHEDA’s first loan product since suspending lending in October, 2008. WHEDA became the first state Housing Finance Agency to take advantage of the US Treasury plan, coupled with the Fannie Mae Advantage product offered exclusively to HFAs like WHEDA.

    2009 - Received $139 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resources to stimulate stalled Low Income Housing Tax Credit developments around the state. WHEDA actively lobbied our congressional delegation to receive Tax Credit Exchange dollars used as grants, and Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds to be used as loans to fill financing gaps. WHEDA also worked with the Obama Administration on a plan with the US Treasury to help get Housing Finance Agencies lending again. WHEDA received $325 million from the US Treasury to revitalize its home ownership programs.

    2008 - Developed and launched outreach website,, to help troubled homeowners. The initiative included capacity building for foreclosure counselors across Wisconsin and created a network of resources for people facing foreclosure. WHEDA also received over $915,000 from USDA Rural Development for a loan pool to help preserve affordable housing developments in rural Wisconsin.

    2007 - Launched “Homeownership. Your time is now.” campaign in African American media markets in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Beloit, resulting in a 75% increase in WHEDA mortgages written to African Americans. For the first time in WHEDA history allocated $19 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits to four multifamily deals on tribal land, and $11 million to three supporting housing developments in the City of Milwaukee.

    2006 - Introduced single-family Zero Down product and rural initiative lending with AHP funds.

    2005 - Single-family lending record year at $560 million. Introduced our single-family Fixed-Interest Only product and began offering on-demand lender training. The Legislature passed a Modernization Bill, which provides additional lending capacity for WHEDA allowing us to serve many more residential and business borrowers.

    2004 - Introduced single-family and multifamily web seminars, as well as Mortgage Guardian insurance for single-family loans.

    2003 - Announced single-family lending Quick Decision, Homes for Heroes program, and reinstituted manual loan preapproval. Welcomed Antonio Riley as the new Executive Director.

    2002 - Introduced Home Plus, a new supplemental Home-mortgage package that provides borrowers at purchase with a line of credit that can be used for down payment and closing costs and for repairs or improvements in the first two years of ownership.

    2001 - Total single family lending since the Authority's inception approached the $4 billion mark. Inaugurated Housekey Wisconsin web site, enabling prospective borrowers to preapprove themselves for mortgages online.

    2000 - Introduced a special low-rate mortgage loan for rural counties. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program earmarked 5 percent of the year's total allocation to rural development, and half of all multifamily loans were to developments located in rural Wisconsin.

    1999 - Closed more than $52 million of multifamily housing loans. Guaranteed more than $1 million of loans through an emergency program to assist financially distressed pork producers.

    1998 - Started single family in-fill housing programs in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Superior. Made grants to provide temporary housing for Sheboygan flood victims and Door County tornado victims. Integrated customer advisory committees into improvement processes for all products.

    1997 - New Rental Improvement Loan offered in Milwaukee. The Clean Air, Ozone Protection, Agricultural Chemical Spill, Non-point Source Pollution, Contract, Tourism and Target Area Funds, were consolidated into Small Business Guarantee. Models for the Lindsay Heights factory built housing in Milwaukee's central city were built and opened for customers.

    1996 - FARM Fund introduced for farmers to expand or make capital improvements. Beginning Farmer Bonds made available for related party transactions. Made 1,000th loan in Milwaukee target area.

    1995 - Made 7% single family new construction money (1-1/4% below conventional rate) available statewide. Legislation permanently extending CROP signed.

    1994 - Single Family Home mortgage interest rate adjusted on weekly basis. Record single family minority lending with 643 loans statewide, 73% in central city, and 43% citywide, (greater than minority population rate); instituted 24-hour underwriting turnaround. Beginning Farmer Bond program created. Record year for CROP with 2,040 loans. Began Clean Air, Ozone Protection, and Agricultural Chemical Spill Funds.

    1993 - Wisconsin Preservation Trust, a (501)(c)(3) formed to help preserve Section 8 units as affordable housing in perpetuity. Made loans through 4%/6% Program with realized savings from refinanced bonds. Financed restoration of Taliesin via WHEDA loan with a State guarantee. Record year for CROP with 2,024 loans. Began Non-point Source Pollution program.

    1992 - Reached $2 billion in single family Home ownership lending. Multifamily housing achieved $40 million in annual lending, allocated 100 percent of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (qualifying for more credit from the national pool), and sold $7.6 million pool of mortgages on secondary market. Began guaranteeing loans through Target Area Fund.

    1991 - Offered long term financing in conjunction with Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Began guaranteeing loans through Recycling Fund.

    1990 - Reached $2 billion in assets. Achieved record single family Homeownership lending. Began guaranteeing business loans through Contract, Tourism, and Agribusiness Funds.

    1989 - Began administering Section 8 Vouchers. Allocated 100 percent of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits allocated to Wisconsin. Single family Home ownership lending volume reached $1 billion.

    1987 - Became allocating agency for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986. First loan made through Linked Deposit Loan Program. Implemented continuous funding for single family Home ownership programs.

    1986 - Used unencumbered general reserves to develop Linked Deposit Loan Program to meet needs of women- and minority-owned businesses.

    1985 - Administered Credit Relief Outreach Program (CROP) on behalf of the state. First economic development loan made financed by industrial revenue bonds. Administration of competitive housing grants from Authority reserves and responsibility for marketing single family loan programs transferred from state Department of Development to WHEDA.

    1984 - Received federal Housing Development Action Grants for five Wisconsin Communities.

    1983 - Reached $1 billion in assets. Mission expanded to include economic development financing: Authority empowered to issue bonds and notes to finance economic activity in Wisconsin, name changed to Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

    1982 - Financed rental housing designed for visually disabled persons.

    1981 - Received $75 million in additional bonding authority for single family housing rehabilitation loans.

    1980 - Issued bonds for Home ownership loans and housing rehabilitation loans.

    1979 - Repaid in full initial seed money appropriated by the State. Began rehabilitation and preservation program of historically significant buildings for multifamily housing.

    1978 - Required units designed for the physically disabled to be provided for each development. Cumulative unit production in all Authority programs exceeded 12,000 units.

    1977 - Pioneered energy efficient architectural design for Authority developments. Began coordination of subsidized housing distribution with HUD and Farmer's Home Administration (first in the nation).

    1976 - Became the first state housing financing agency to successfully market long-term bonds specifically allocated to finance Section 8 multifamily developments.

    1975 - Made mortgage loans through the Multifamily Construction Loan Program, Section 236 Multifamily Loan Program for elderly and families, Section 8 Multifamily Loan Program for elderly and families.

    1974 - Issued $27,200,000 Housing Revenue Bonds Anticipation Notes, First Series, for Multifamily Mortgage Purchase Program. Made loans to public housing authorities, nonprofits, and private limited dividend entities. Mortgage loans made through Veterans Single Family Home Loan Program.

    1973 - Principle program operations began following favorable decision on constitutionality of Authority's enabling legislation by Wisconsin Supreme Court in State Ex. Rel. Warren v. Nussbaum.

    1972 - Chapter 234 of Wisconsin Statutes published creating the Wisconsin Housing Finance Authority, empowering the Authority to make construction, rehabilitation, and permanent mortgage loans to eligible sponsors of housing projects for low and moderate income households. State appropriated $250,000 in seed money to begin operations.