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Vacancy-to-Vitality Competitive Loan

Assembly Bill 268, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 18

Funding available: $100 million

Converts vacant and underutilized commercial properties to housing.


View the June 2024 loan application funding list here.


WHEDA will accept applications semi-annually until all funds are distributed to eligible projects. Review the award plan for the anticipated funding cycles. 

For a developer to apply:

  • The relevant local governmental unit must have made changes to applicable zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, or other land development regulations to increase development density, expedite approvals, reduce impact fees, or reduce parking, building, or other development costs with respect to the eligible project on or after January 1, 2023. Reference the municipality guide sheet to learn more about the critical role cities, towns, and villages play with this new loan program.
  • The governmental unit must have updated the housing element of its comprehensive plan within the last 5 years.
  •  All other development funding must be secured, and all necessary permits and approvals have been obtained for converting vacant commercial property to housing and the commercial-to-housing conversion and the residential housing supported by such conversion.   
  • In order to receive the Vacancy-to-Vitality low interest rate loan, the development must provide affordable rents, which must remain affordable for at least 10 years following occupancy, or affordable purchase prices for the resulting housing, with affordability requirements to remain in place for 10 years after initial sale.  
  • The loan is to go towards the cost of converting a vacant and underutilized commercial space to residential housing. 
  • The housing created in the conversion must be new residential housing for rent or for sale and must consist of 16 or more dwelling units. 
  • Loans may be used for demolition and construction costs, up to $1 million or 20% of the total project cost, whichever is less.

Key dates for the competitive loan cycle:

June, 2024

Spring competitive funding allocation announced

September, 2024

Fall competitive application cycle opens

October, 2024

Fall competitive applications due to WHEDA


Please submit questions about the Restore Main Street competitive loan to home@wheda.com


Vacancy-to-Vitality Application Materials

Loan program resources