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County Executive's Office

Madison, Dane County and State Come Together to Address Homelessness

July 01, 2015
Stephanie Miller, 608-267-8823
County Executive

                   Heartland Housing Broke Ground on New Development in Madison Today


MADISON, WI (July 1, 2015)- Madison Mayor Soglin, Dane County Executive Parisi and Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Brian Schimming joined Heartland Housing, Heartland Health Outreach, U.S. Bank, BMO Harris, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, The Home Depot Foundation, and Enterprise Community Partners in breaking ground on a new housing development for those facing chronic homelessness, including homeless veterans.


Madison Permanent Supportive Housing will be located at 715 Rethke Avenue in Madison. The $8.9 million, 60-unit building will provide housing for individuals who are chronically homeless, with a unique focus on veterans, for whom 25 of the units will be designated.


In 2012, the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available, 1,911 single adults were served in Madison, WI shelters.  Of the single adults served, 12% were veterans.  An increasing chronically homeless population over the course of several years propelled the City of Madison to commit to a plan that would address the matter. The project also demonstrates leadership related to the city’s commitment to the “0 in 2016” campaign, which targets the end to veteran and chronic homelessness by 2016.

“Chronic homelessness is an issue we can’t afford to ignore,” says Paul Soglin, Mayor of the City of Madison. “We’ve resolved to end what has become a crisis here in Madison, and this development is a huge step forward in our dedication to this goal.”

“Homelessness is a complex issue that needs everyone at the table to address,” says Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive. “This development is a great example of multiple partners coming to the table to create more housing for our community. This is an important step towards addressing affordable housing and getting people the services they need.”

Ending Homelessness

Madison Permanent Supportive Housing is designed to serve those who would not be able to stay housed without a wide range of supportive services and who, conversely, need to be housed to be able to fully participate in these services. Many homeless individuals have a number of factors standing in their way, potentially including mental illness, a substance disorder, or chronic medical problem. Onsite services will be provided by Heartland Health Outreach and will include mental health services, links to other health care and employment providers, case management and social enrichment, all designed to improve stability and support economic self-sufficiency.

“Madison Permanent Supportive Housing will be a well-designed, professionally managed and affordable home for those in the community struggling with housing stability,” says Michael Goldberg, Executive Director of Heartland Housing, a division of Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations. “This development will fulfill a critical need in Madison, priming its residents for success through robust services that support them on their path to stability and building on community collaboration to improve the surrounding neighborhood.”

Sustainable Design, Modern Amenities

Designed by architectural firm Engberg Anderson, and through the input of area service providers and potential tenants in focus groups, Madison Permanent Supportive Housing will include modern amenities that support the unique needs of those that will live there. The facility will have 60 studio apartments averaging 325 square feet. In addition, the building will have a wellness center, library, technology center, bike storage and garden and teaching kitchen, as well as office space for supportive services. Each apartment will contain a full-size kitchen and private bathroom. All residents will have the option to obtain basic furnishings, if they do not come with their own. The building is expected to achieve LEED for Homes Platinum and Passive House certification, continuing Heartland Housing’s commitment to green design and sustainable operations.

Strong Financing

Heartland Housing leveraged Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), tax credit equity invested by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the Chicago Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program, and capital budget funds from the City of Madison and Dane County in the creation of Madison Permanent Supportive Housing. BMO Harris will provide construction financing. The project also received grant funds from The Home Depot Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners.

The City of Madison Community Development Authority and Dane County Housing Authority provided project based rental assistance for a total of 54 units. The project is also pursuing specific rental vouchers for veterans (VASH) from the Veterans Administration. Because of this rental assistance, homeless persons will now have a chance at stability, as those participating pay no more than 30% of their household income for rent.




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