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Training, research partnership to boost supportive housing statewide

February 15, 2021

MADISON – Wisconsin’s most vulnerable residents will be the focus of a new partnership by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and Corporation for Supportive Housing that includes training opportunities, research and prioritized investment.

As part of the initiative, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, WHEDA and CSH will kick off a four-part webinar series starting Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m. The free 90-minute interactive sessions are open to all; participants may choose a single event or all four sessions.

“Wisconsin residents with mental health needs, physical challenges and substance use recovery are among those facing great difficulties in finding affordable housing,” said WHEDA CEO Joaquín Altoro. “This housing deficit challenges our rural and urban communities alike. Housing is critical to the health and wellness of individuals and by connecting affordable housing with supportive services, we can have a lasting impact on the wellbeing of communities statewide. We are excited to work in partnership with CSH – a national leader in supportive housing – to connect developers and community service providers with training, tools and financing to expand the supply of this much-needed housing.”

Katrina Van Valkenburgh, managing director of the central region for CSH, said, “Supportive housing improves housing stability; employment; mental and physical health; school attendance; and reduces active substance use. Supportive housing helps people live more stable and productive lives and supports individuals and families to thrive.”

“On any given day in Wisconsin, more than 4,700 elderly residents, 2,100 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, 740 child welfare involved families and 420 transitional aged youth are in need of supportive housing,” Van Valkenburgh said. Supportive housing combines affordable housing with services to help people who face the most complex challenges to live with stability, autonomy and dignity.”

Altoro said the partnership represents an important part of WHEDA’s efforts to cultivate an ecosystem of greater equity in affordable housing and economic opportunity. Based on CSH data, Wisconsin has a disproportionate number of Black and Native American residents involved with the justice system, child welfare services and family separations – all indicators of the need for supportive housing to achieve better outcomes.

To connect developers, community service providers and other housing professionals, WHEDA and CSH will offer free training on the basics of supportive housing, integrated housing models, supportive services and property management. The sessions include

content that aims to build understanding of the racial disparities and institutional barriers that affect housing for people facing challenges of homelessness, disabilities and poverty.

For details and to register for the free, 90-minute events, follow the links below.

In addition to the training opportunities, WHEDA and CSH will implement a statewide survey to better understand areas of greatest need for supportive housing and the biggest challenges in meeting those needs. WHEDA also will initiate a first-of-its-kind Wisconsin Supportive Housing Institute to provide technical assistance to developers and supportive housing providers as they navigate the complex process of developing affordable housing with access to supportive services. The institute is expected to reduce the timeline for supportive housing by improving planning and development.

To provide additional financing for housing with supportive services, WHEDA increased the preference scoring for these housing projects in the 2021-22 round of federal and state tax credit applications through the Qualified Allocation Plan. To keep up with information about WHEDA resources, follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and sign up to receive emails here.


For more than 48 years, WHEDA has worked to provide low-cost financing for housing and small business development in Wisconsin. Since 1972, WHEDA has financed more than 78,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 135,000 families purchase a home and provided more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees. WHEDA is a self-supporting public corporation that receives no tax dollars for its operations. For more information on WHEDA programs, visit wheda.com or call 800-334-6873.

CSH is a Community Development Financial Institution dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals and communities to thrive through affordable housing and community-based services. CSH has provided more than $1 billion in loans, grants, project assistance and advocacy creating access to 335,000 homes for those who need housing and important services to achieve stability and transform their lives.