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Dane County residents are now able to apply for emergency rental assistance through a program called Dane CORE.
That’s a collaborative effort between Dane County, the city of Madison, and the Tenant Resource Center, a nonprofit dedicated to helping tenants and landlords keep their housing affordable. The program, which has $15 million in federal funding, is intended to provide rental assistance to Dane County residents struggling with rental payments.
Applications opened online yesterday. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi says that within hours, over 1,300 people had submitted online applications for the program. He says that even though the online system is new, the program has helped people earlier in the pandemic.
“We were able to put about $10 million into the community earlier on in the pandemic, and thanks to the recent federal COVID relief legislation that passed a couple of months ago, we now have some more dollars coming our way,” said Parisi. “Both the city of Madison and the county received money this time around, so we have a little over $15 million that is going to be distributed through the Tenant Resource Center.”
Parisi says that he expects to receive more money from the state government, and is hopeful that the county will receive additional money from the federal government.
However, the program comes with caveats, and is unable to help people in some circumstances. A Madison resident who asked to be identified by the initials M.W. tells W-O-R-T they had taken out a payday loan in order to pay their rent, and did not hear back from the tenant resource center either time they applied. When asked about this particular case, Parisi said that the program was focused on people whose circumstances were different from what M.W. described.
“This round, we are focusing on people who are behind in their rent,” said Parisi. “People can apply for up to 12 months of back rent. It’s not for rent moving forward. We have so many people in the community who are facing eviction. We want to prioritize the dollars that are in front of us now to help stave off those evictions. The good news is that this is the first round of money for this year.”
According to Dane CORE’s website, the money distributed through the service covers up to twelve months of unpaid back rent, but does not cover mortgage payments, rents for residents who are living with someone else but not actually on the lease, residents of hotels or motels, utility payments, or future rent. You can apply for Dane CORE at www.core.tenantresourcecenter.org.