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State Files Motion to Intervene in Redistricting Lawsuit PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 14 September 2021 16:11

voting-2020-538Governor wants a say in lawsuit asking a federal court to draw Wisconsin’s electoral maps. Republican-led Wisconsin State Legislature has already been allowed to intervene.

Biden vaccine mandate puts McConnell, GOP leaders in a tough spot PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Tuesday, 14 September 2021 11:04

covid-19-vaccine-mandateMost people support mandate, but base of the party has balked at vaccines and mask usage.

$58.4 Million Investment in Local COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Recovery PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 14 September 2021 11:03

covid-19-testLocal and tribal health departments receive funding from American Rescue Plan Act

Mayor Announces Green Bay’s Conservation Corps PDF Print E-mail
Written by Green Bay Mayor's Office Press   
Tuesday, 14 September 2021 10:07

greenbay-lakemichSeeks Coordinator to Implement Program.

Innovative Affordable Housing Development in New Glarus Creates Unique Community PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp, Brenda Levin   
Friday, 10 September 2021 16:59

prairie haus-new-glarusPrairie Haus Integrated Housing Concept First of its Kind in Wisconsin.

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp. (WHPC), a leader in the preservation and development of quality affordable housing for low- to moderate-income populations in Wisconsin, is pleased to announce the grand opening of Prairie Haus, an innovative affordable workforce housing development located in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Prairie Haus is the first affordable housing concept of its kind in Wisconsin to integrate high-demand workforce housing with independent living apartments for people with disabilities where all residents live together within a strong, vibrant, and compassionate community.

In partnership with Home of Our Own (HOOO), an organization advocating for young adults with special care needs, WHPC has developed a unique, affordable housing model that meets the needs of both working individuals and families and those with disabilities within a larger affordable housing development.

mary-wright-whpc"Prairie Haus is an example of what can be accomplished when the developer, investor and community collaborate to envision and complete a financially complex project, said WHPC President Mary Wright. “Along with the strong commitment and the hard work of HOOO, we responded to a need and provided a housing model and solution for New Glarus."

Recognizing the need for supportive housing for many residents in New Glarus, WHPC and HOOO collaborated to create a safe, stable, and suitable independent living community for young adults who want to live on their own.

HOOO will have an ongoing presence at Prairie Haus to facilitate social connections with all residents within the development and to create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to connect with the New Glarus community at large. Other amenities include a spacious interior common area and community kitchen for family and friends to gather in a comfortable setting, underground and lot parking, onsite manager’s office, a business center, outdoor patios and grills and outdoor recreational spaces with swings. Learn more about Prairie Haus at whpccorp.org/prairie-haus.

“We knew our adult children needed a safe, affordable place to live their adult life and it wasn’t going to be in a group home,” said HOOO Co-founder Susan Wallitsch. “Our goal was to explore options for a permanent home for our children, and perhaps build something together.”

Like many rural communities throughout Wisconsin, New Glarus faces challenges meeting a growing demand for affordable workforce housing for individuals and families living on modest incomes.
Housing has been a scarce and expensive commodity particularly for people who work in the village but cannot afford to live there. Prairie Haus will add to the village’s much needed housing stock.

“The village is excited about the new development and national attention Prairie Haus has received and the creative housing solution WHPC and Home of Our Own developed,” said New Glarus Administrator Drake Daily. “The project was heavily influenced by members of our community who were looking to build a safe place for family members and friends to live and exercise some independence. It was an exciting opportunity to provide more options for people who want to move into our community, and the village was glad to be able to play a small role to help get the development off the ground.”

“We have jobs at all income levels and housing for seniors but have a desperate need for workforce housing, not just in Green County but throughout Southwestern Wisconsin,” said Green County Development Corp. Executive Director Cara Carper. “Hats off to HOOO who had the vision and worked on it all these years and for partners like WHPC and others who stepped up to make Prairie Haus a reality. It is a wonderful project and a special place that other rural communities will want to emulate and build in their communities.”

“I’ve heard many great heart-warming stories from people who have adult children who are differently disabled who never imagined an opportunity like this would come so close and now know they have a safe place for their adult child to live,” Carper added. “The fact Prairie Haus includes people with different abilities within one community is what really puts it over the top as being very special and exceptional.”

Prairie Haus is situated on a spacious site featuring steep rocky bluffs and panoramic views overlooking the Little Sugar River and historic downtown New Glarus. The mission-style development was designed by Midwest Modern and construction performed by 1848 Construction, Inc. The project was completed within 18 months and officially opened in December 2020.

The $9 million, 40-unit apartment community offers a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Thirty-eight units will rent to individuals and families at 50%-80% of the area median income (AMI) in Green County who cannot afford the higher market-rate rents in the New Glarus area. Ten units will rent to extremely low-income individuals at 30% AMI. These units are single-story, grade-level apartments specifically designed for individuals with disabilities and feature multiple entry and exit pathways to accommodate and enhance the safety of residents, caregivers, and visitors. They include high ceilings, accommodating floor plans, fixtures that meet or exceed ADA standards, and other specially designed features. Two units are leased at market rate rents.

Prairie Haus required funding from multiple sources before construction could begin in 2019. Primary funding for the project was a $5.6 million Section 42 low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) allocation awarded to WHPC by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Agency (WHEDA). WHPC partnered with Cinnaire, a respected nonprofit community development investment firm based in Michigan, who purchased the tax credits from WHPC to become a co-owner and lead investor in the Prairie Haus development.

Other funding sources included the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago through its Affordable Home Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, a Federal HOME loan awarded by the State of Wisconsin, and Johnson Bank. Both WHPC and HOOO also contributed financially to development costs.

Prairie Haus is an exemplar of what can be accomplished with positive synergy between public and private groups working together to achieve a common purpose. “Partnership can be an overused word in many business settings, but in this case, it’s actually true,” WHPC Vice President David Ginger said. “You have a Housing Finance Authority in WHEDA that allocates the resources, developers, lenders, investors, parents and the community all working toward a common goal. This project does not get done without all partners working together.”

The ten special needs apartments are now fully leased. WHPC and its management firm, ACC Management, are currently accepting leasing applications for other units at Prairie Haus.

To celebrate the completion and opening of Prairie Haus, WHPC will host an open house on September 16 at Prairie Haus with project partners and invited dignitaries and community residents from New Glarus.

About Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp.

Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp. (WHPC) is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a prominent leader in the affordable housing industry. Its mission is to preserve, provide and protect affordable housing for the most vulnerable low- and moderate-income populations in Wisconsin. It believes housing is a basic right and the first step in building a better life for the people it serves.

WHPC is a $503 million housing provider with annual revenues of $74 million and net worth more than $172 million. WHPC has invested over $110 million in private equity for some of the largest investment entities in the country, including Boston Capital, Richman Group, Redstone, Cinnaire, Advantage Capital, Sugar Creek Capital, and BMO Harris, all of whom trust WHPC for skilled real estate closing and refined financial management.

As WHPC continues to grow its presence in Wisconsin it will work with its valued partners and, most importantly, its residents, to meet the challenge of helping communities provide affordable housing worthy to be called “home.” Learn more at whpccorp.org.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 September 2021 08:43
Flags in Wisconsin to Half-Staff in Honor of 9/11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 10 September 2021 08:54

9-11-memorialState Day of Service and Remembrance to be held Saturday to honor the nearly 3,000 individuals who lost their lives in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Gov. Evers Orders Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of Barber Brothers PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 09 September 2021 18:21

pearl-habour-memorialFlags to be lowered as a tribute to the Barber Brothers, Fireman First Class Malcom J. Barber, Fireman First Class Leroy K. Barber, and Fireman Second Class Randolph H. Barber of the United States Navy Who Lost Their Lives in Pearl Harbor Attack

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #131 ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Sat., Sep. 11, 2021, in honor of the Barber brothers, Navy Fireman 1st Class Malcom J. Barber, Fireman 1st Class Leroy K. Barber, and Fireman 2nd Class Randolph H. Barber of the United States Navy, who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Barber brothers will be laid to rest with full military honors at Most Precious Blood Cemetery in New London, Wisconsin, on Sept. 11, 2021.

tony-evers“The story of the Barber brothers and their family is a tragedy that has been a source of pain for the New London community, our state, and our country now for the better part of a century,” said Gov. Evers. “I am grateful for the work of many now nearly 80 years later who helped bring these brothers home.”

The Barber brothers of New London, Wisconsin, lost their lives aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. The ship, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, was attacked by Japanese aircraft and sustained multiple torpedo hits that quickly capsized the boat, resulting in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including the Barber brothers. Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew between 1941 and 1944 and unidentified remains were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns for scientific analysis and possible identification, at which time, the DPAA laboratory identified the brothers. The Barber brothers' remains were accounted for on June 11, 2021.  

Executive Order #131 is in effect from sunrise to sunset on Sat., Sep. 11, 2021, and is available here. As he has done each year, the governor will likewise issue a forthcoming order requiring flags to be flown at half-staff for the anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, but he felt it was important to specifically honor the Barber brothers and their return.

Politicians Attack Voters’ Freedoms, Use Taxpayer Dollars For Election Review Scams PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters WI, Debra Cronmiller   
Wednesday, 08 September 2021 15:19

assembly-wi-robin-vosLeague of Women Voters say no one should jeopardize the integrity of our elections by pushing lies and conspiracies.

Gov. Evers Grants 71 Pardons, Signs Executive Order Expediting Process PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 12:53

jailedIn first term alone, governor on target to pardon more people than any governor in contemporary history.

DHS Deputy Secretary Willems Van Dijk to Retire PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 03 September 2021 14:22

willems-van-dijk-to-retireGovernor thanks Deputy Secretary Willems Van Dijk for years of service to the state, welcomes Deb Standridge to new role.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday a transition in leadership at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk, who has been a critical and visible part of the state’s pandemic response efforts, will retire later this month.

tony-evers“Julie’s been an essential part of our state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it is not an overstatement to say her work and leadership have saved lives,” said Gov. Evers. “Having spent 40 years dedicated to public good and the health and safety of folks in this state, Julie is the embodiment of public service. Her ability to serve with intellect and expertise while being patient, kind, and compassionate is unparalleled, frankly, and it is among the reasons she has earned the respect and admiration of so many. It has been a privilege to work alongside her on a near-daily basis over the past year and a half. I want to thank Julie for her career in public service and her family for their many years of support as well. Julie will be greatly missed, and I wish her all of the best in her retirement.”

“It has been an incredible honor to serve in the role of Deputy Secretary. I am especially proud of the way our staff across DHS and all of state government came together to protect the people of Wisconsin during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk. “I thank Governor Evers and Secretary-designee Timberlake for their trust and support, and after nearly 40 years of service as a nurse and public health leader, it is time that I recommit to the needs of my family.”

“Julie’s leadership has been invaluable across everything we do here at the Department of Health Services. She is able to see the big picture and the granular yet integral detail. She has constantly raised the bar on the quality of our work, including her dedication to data transparency and data-driven policies. I am lucky to have had the pleasure of working alongside her,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “As we thank Julie for her service, we are welcoming a new leader here at DHS. I am pleased to announce that Deb Standridge will be joining DHS as the newly-named Deputy Secretary. Deb’s extensive experience in senior healthcare leadership roles, including leading Wisconsin’s Alternate Care Facility earlier in the pandemic, will further strengthen our leadership team at DHS. We are excited to have her on board.”

In addition to announcing Deputy Secretary Willems Van Dijk’s retirement, the governor and DHS also announced Deb Standridge, who previously served as executive director of the state’s alternate care facility at State Fair Park, will take over the DHS deputy secretary role. Deb Standridge has spent her career working in, improving, and leading healthcare systems, most recently serving as Regional President of the North Region of Ascension Wisconsin and Chief Executive Officer of the state’s Alternate Care Facility. Her professional focus has been on the strategic direction and operational management of hospitals in a diversity of communities, including her work at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s North Market. She is an award-winning advocate for healthcare systems and served on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

“Deb has been a great partner to our state throughout the pandemic, running our Alternate Care Facility, which ensured folks had access to care when our hospitals were overwhelmed and helping continue a robust COVID-19 pandemic response,” said Gov. Evers. “I am confident Deb will be a great addition to the administration, and we are glad to welcome her to the team.”

“I want to thank Governor Evers and Secretary-designee Timberlake for this opportunity to serve our state. I know we have both challenges and opportunities ahead of us, and I am ready to get to work serving the people of Wisconsin in this new role,” said Deb Standridge. “I would also like to add my gratitude to the outgoing deputy secretary. Having worked closely with Julie when I ran the Alternate Care Facility, I’ve seen her dedication in action. Her commitment to the health and safety of Wisconsin residents is unparalleled, and we are better for it.”

Deputy Secretary Willems Van Dijk will depart DHS on September 10, 2021. Deb Standridge will begin her new role at DHS the following week.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 September 2021 14:44
Texas abortion law could haunt GOP PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Friday, 03 September 2021 09:50

scotus-women-rightsAbortion providers in Texas have suggested that the law would have the effect of banning at least 80 percent of the terminations that would otherwise take place in the state.

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