Couleecap News Releases and Media Alerts
May 11, 2022
Couleecap Showcases Latest Housing Development in the La Crosse Washburn Neighborhood and Welcomes New Homebuyers into their Home
Couleecap, the City of La Crosse Community Development Committee, and other supporters celebrated the latest new home built under the Couleecap Coulee Housing Development program. The home, located at 529 Winnebago Street, was developed as affordable housing with support from the City of La Crosse Community Development Block Grant fund.
The new home was built on a vacant lot donated to Couleecap by a former client. The City of La Crosse awarded $151,201 in Community Development Block Grant funding to build housing that could be sold to a family earning up to 80% County Median Income.
“There is a critical lack of quality, affordable housing in the City of La Crosse. We have had great success working with city government to identify opportunities to address the need,” says Ashley Lacenski, Couleecap Community Development Director. “We can find the right place, build or rehab, and provide homebuyers the tools to be successful. We just don’t always have the financial resources to push projects forward. That’s where the city comes in.”
“Homeownership is still the American dream. Through critical partnerships we can work together to make dreams come true for people of all income levels,” says Diane McGinnis Casey, Community Development Administrator with the City of La Crosse. “These opportunities are a win-win by creating affordable housing, increasing the tax base and stabilizing neighborhoods.”
Couleecap has been an affordable housing development agency since the 1980’s. Since that time, the organization has built or rehabilitated more than 22 homes within the City of La Crosse. Many of those homes are within the Coulee Community Land Trust, a nonprofit subsidiary of Couleecap that provides affordable homeownership opportunities to residents while ensuring the housing remains affordable in perpetuity by keeping the land in a trust fund.
“Homeownership is a powerful tool to fight poverty,” says Lacenski. “Our best days are the days we can hand keys over to someone and say, ‘Welcome home!’”
Couleecap supports homebuyers through homebuyer education classes, financial counseling, and other support during and after closing. Down payment and closing cost assistance are provided to ensure the home is affordable and the family can be successful long-term.
New homeowners, Michelle Manzy and Jesus David Gonzales, were celebrated at the event. “We were debating whether to stay in the La Crosse area,” said Gonzales. “Programs like this give opportunities to families and we are excited to make La Crosse our home.”
Couleecap homebuyer education courses are not limited to people wishing to purchase homes built by the organization. Any member of the public interested in becoming a homeowner can take classes and are encouraged to do so. Classes are offered monthly online. A schedule can be found on the website www.couleecap.org/homeownership.
Couleecap, Inc. is a private non-profit 501c3 charitable organization. Couleecap helps people in need with housing food, transportation, and more. Created in 1966, we are a community action program that fights poverty and promotes self-sufficiency in Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon counties. Couleecap is a member of the Community Action Network, originally created in 1964. Learn more at couleecap.org.
4.26.22 Couleecap and City of Prairie du Chien Break Ground on New Workforce Housing Development
Couleecap and the City of Prairie du Chien broke ground on a new housing development to support the local workforce. The project, located on Brunson Street, will build four, three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes to be sold to families earning up to 80% of the County Median Income. Each home will have a full basement and a garage. Click here for the full News Release.
3.9.2022 Couleecap Launches WI Help For Homeowners Program
Couleecap now offers assistance to homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage or other costs related to home ownership due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The WI Help for Homeowners Program, or WHH, was announced by Governor Tony Evers earlier this week and is funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury for COVID relief. Couleecap is delivering the program with the WI Community Action Program (WISCAP) in partnership with the Department of Administration.
Click here for the Full News Release.
Click here for the Full News Release.
1.24.2022 Couleecap delivers over $8.6 Million in Emergency Rental and Energy Assistance Payments to Low Income Households affected by COVID in the Coulee Region
(Westby) - The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or WERA, was launched in February 2021 to help households experiencing a financial hardship and housing insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Couleecap, the local poverty-fighting community action agency serving Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon Counties, launched the program after successfully operating a similar program in 2020. Like the earlier program, WERA is made possible through partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and the Wisconsin Community Action Program (WISCAP). Click Here for the Full News Release.
12.14.2021 New program helps families pay water bills
(Westby, WI) – A new Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) was developed as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide water bill assistance to eligible households. Households that qualify for bill assistance will be referred to Couleecap for water conservation repairs in their home to prevent future financial struggles. Click Here for the Full News Release.