Couleecap provides more than $1.7 million through Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program

WESTBY, Wis. (WKBT) — Couleecap was able to serve 865 households and provide $1.717 million in assistance through the federally-funded and locally-administered Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program.

Couleecap, which administered the eviction prevention program in Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe and Vernon counties, shared the news Thursday after the program came to an end Nov. 24.

“We are glad we had the opportunity to help people through a very difficult time and landlords maintain their businesses,” said Hetti Brown, Executive Director. “However, many of our clients are not back to full employment and we were still receiving a high volume of applications from newly unemployed residents through the last day of the program. We hope this will be an indicator to lawmakers that more help is desperately needed.”

Funding for the program came from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act, which expires at the end of the month.

In addition to rental assistance, each household was registered for energy assistance, a lasting benefit that can result in weatherization, monthly bill assistance, and emergency furnace support. The Couleecap team also distributed over $125,000 in financial aid to help rental program clients pay other bills, which was funded by the La Crosse Community Foundation, Great Rivers United Way, and private donors. All clients received financial counseling, referrals, and help with landlord negotiations.

Kim Cable, Housing and Community Services Director said, “It’s not just about paying rent, but about helping people navigate financial insecurity that may last for many more months. By linking people to other programs in our community, we are providing more than emergency relief.”

Couleecap is fundraising to continue programs for those impacted by COVID-19. Those wishing to support these efforts can donate at or by mailing contributions to 201 Melby Street, Westby, WI 54667.