Wisconsin Help for Homeowners Program
Great Midwest Bank is proud to participate in the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners (WHH) program. WHH is a program that gives financial assistance to qualified Wisconsin homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship and have overdue housing-related bills. Since the program began in January 2020 WHH has provided over $2 million to Wisconsin residents to help cover utilities, mortgage payments, property taxes and more.
The program is funded by the Homeowners Assistance Fund, established in 2021 under the American Rescue Plan Act. WHH is administered by the Department of Administration, Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources (DEHCR).
Since GMB participates in the program, our staff has the tools and expertise to help guide WHH program applicants through the process. Here is an overview of the program.
Who May Qualify
People may qualify for the WHH program if they meet these guidelines:
- Wisconsin homeowner living in a single-family home, condo, duplex, or factory-built home
- The home is the applicant’s primary residence; second homes, rentals, cabins, and vacation homes are not eligible for WHH
- Household income is at or below 100% of the county median
- Have experienced financial hardship since January 21, 2020
What qualifies as “financial hardship?”
WHH defines financial hardship as:
“A material reduction in income or material increase in living expenses associated with the coronavirus pandemic that has created or increased a risk of mortgage delinquency, mortgage default, foreclosure, loss of utilities or home energy services, or displacement for a homeowner.”
In other words, this includes people who have had financial troubles as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program specifically says those who have experienced one or more of the following may qualify as having experienced financial hardship:
- Loss of job, wages, or fewer paid hours at work
- Self-employed and business no longer supplies income or income has been reduced
- Independent contractors or gig workers unable to earn fees or earning lower fees
- Have become sick or advised by a government or medical professional to self-quarantine
- Left a job or reduced work hours to care for someone who is sick
- Left a job or reduced work hours to care for dependents whose care plans have been disrupted (such as school or daycare)
- Increased household costs, including the cost of fuel and utilities
- Unexpected COVID-related medical or funeral expense
- Unexpected child-care or elderly care expenses
Up to $40,000 of financial assistance may be available for eligible households. Funding below $10,000 is provided as a grant. Any amount over $10,000 is provided as a one-year, interest-free, non-amortizing forgivable loan. That is, the loan will be fully forgiven if the homeowner remains in the home for a year without a refinance, resale, or transfer of the home.
How to Apply or Find More Information
To apply for the program, head to the WHH application portal to fill out your information and apply online.
If you have questions about the program or application you can always talk to us at Great Midwest Bank! We are happy to answer any questions and we work to make the process as easy as possible.
When it comes to facilitating WHH assistance, please note that GMB only receives funds to cure or partially cure the loan depending on what individuals are approved for. GMB does not receive the application and does not make the decision to approve or deny an application.
Great Midwest Bank is Here to Help
As a participant in the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program, your local Great Midwest Bank is ready to help qualified Wisconsin homeowners navigate the program. If you’re unsure where to start, talk to one of our experienced loan officers. They’ll help you explore your financial options and determine if you may qualify for the WHH program.