2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
ASSEMBLY SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT 1,
TO ASSEMBLY BILL 544
December 19, 2019 - Offered by Representatives Nygren, Tranel and
1An Act to amend
234.49 (2) (a) 4.; and to create
16.309 (4), 234.045 and 234.49 2
(2) (a) 9. e. of the statutes; relating to: workforce housing in rural counties,
3housing rehabilitation loans, and reports concerning economic development
4revolving loan funds.
Financing for workforce housing
This bill requires the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
to establish and administer a pilot program under which rural counties and cities,
towns, and villages in rural counties may apply for financial assistance to be used
for single-family and multifamily workforce housing projects. The bill defines “rural
county” as a county in which more than 25 percent of the residents reside in a rural
area under standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Under the bill, WHEDA must award financial assistance for workforce housing
projects in at least three communities in one or more rural counties using a
competitive process that gives the highest priority to the state's most rural
communities and takes into account all of the following:
1. The amount of funding secured for the project.
2. The amount of momentum to improve workforce housing in the community
where the project is located.
3. The need for the project in the community.
4. The readiness to move forward with the project, including the existence of
favorable local zoning or land use ordinances.
Prior to implementation, and no later than April 1, 2020, WHEDA must submit
the pilot program to the Joint Committee on Finance for approval under passive
In terms of funding, the bill directs WHEDA to allocate $10,000,000 from its
surplus fund to make the awards of workforce housing financial assistance required
under the bill. Additionally, the bill authorizes WHEDA to make expenditures from
that allocation for the purpose of expanding any program supporting workforce
housing in rural counties that was included in WHEDA's plan for surplus
expenditures that was submitted to the governor and the legislature in 2019.
Under the bill, WHEDA must submit a report on the pilot program to JCF and
the legislature's standing committees on housing no later than September 30, 2022.
Housing rehabilitation loans
This bill authorizes WHEDA to set a lower than usual interest rate for housing
rehabilitation loans under WHEDA's existing housing rehabilitation loan program,
if a substantial amount of the loan proceeds will be used for housing rehabilitation
located in a rural county. The bill also expands the list of authorized lenders WHEDA
may designate for purposes of the housing rehabilitation loan program.
Reports on economic development revolving loan funds
Finally, this bill requires the Department of Administration to submit an
annual report to JCF concerning moneys held by DOA in connection with economic
development revolving loan funds funded by federal community development block
grants administered by DOA, including all moneys derived from the liquidation and
closeout of such a revolving loan fund. The report must include all of the following:
1. The balance of the account associated with each revolving loan fund.
2. The accounts receivable for each such account.
3. A detailed description of all expenditures from the account, including a
description of each project funded by a grant awarded from the account.
4. A detailed description of all expenditures from the account DOA intends to
make before March 15 of the year following the report.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
16.309 (4) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) In this subsection, “revolving loan fund account” means all 3
moneys held by the department in connection with each economic development 4
revolving loan fund that is funded by a community development block grant under
this section, including all moneys derived from the liquidation and closeout of the 2
revolving loan fund.
(b) Annually, no later than March 15, the department shall submit a report to 4
the joint committee on finance that includes all of the following information for each 5
revolving loan fund account:
1. The account balance.
2. All accounts receivable, if any.
3. A detailed description of all account expenditures, including a description 9
of each project funded by a grant awarded from the account.
4. A detailed description of all account expenditures the department intends 11
to make before March 15 of the year following the report.
234.045 of the statutes is created to read:
13234.045 Workforce housing in rural counties; pilot program. (1) 14Definitions.
In this section:
(a) “Eligible applicant” means one or more of the following:
1. A rural county in this state.
2. A city, town, or village located in a rural county in this state.
(b) “Project” means housing for which the authority awards workforce housing 19
(c) “Rural county” means a county in this state in which more than 25 percent 21
of the county's residents reside in a rural area under standards established by the 22
federal department of agriculture, as determined by the authority.
(d) “Workforce housing financial assistance” means financial assistance 24
awarded under sub. (2) (b).
1(2) Establishment of pilot program; requirements.
(a) The authority shall 2
establish and administer a pilot program to encourage the creation of single-family 3
and multifamily workforce housing in rural counties. No later than August 1, 2020, 4
the authority shall begin outreach to solicit eligible applicants for workforce housing 5
(b) Under the program established under par. (a), the authority shall award 7
grants, loans, loan guarantees, or other forms of financial assistance for workforce 8
housing in rural counties.
(c) The authority shall award workforce housing financial assistance for 10
projects in at least 3 communities in one or more rural counties.
(d) The initial purchase price for each single-family home constructed or 12
rehabilitated with workforce housing financial assistance may not exceed the initial 13
purchase price limitations applicable under the federal mortgage revenue bond 14
requirement under 26 USC 143
, as determined by the authority.
(e) Before disbursing any workforce housing financial assistance awarded for 16
a project, the authority shall determine that all applicable state and local permitting 17
requirements are satisfied with respect to the project.
(f) The authority shall contract with each recipient of workforce housing 19
financial assistance. The contract shall include the authority's right to recover all 20
amounts of workforce housing financial assistance awarded but not used in 21
accordance with the contract.
22(3) Applications; competitive process.
(a) Any eligible applicant may apply 23
for an award of workforce housing financial assistance.
(b) The authority shall establish a competitive process for awarding workforce 25
housing financial assistance that gives the highest priority to funding projects in the
most rural communities in the state and includes consideration of all of the following 2
for each application:
1. The amount of funding secured for each potential project from sources other 4
than the state or the authority.