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With a goal to keep up to 300 families in their homes and prevent homelessness, the City of Racine has partnered with Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan (LSS) to launch the Racine Emergency Eviction Prevention Program. The City of Racine officially launched the program to help low-income City residents avoid eviction and prevent homelessness. The Program will begin taking applications at 8 a.m. on Monday morning.

At their June 22 meeting, the Racine Common Council approved $396,712 from the CARES Act Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG-CV) funds which the City received from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to fund the program. The program is expected to help approximately 300 City households avoid eviction.

“Many Racine families are struggling to pay rent and have faced record unemployment due to the coronavirus. This program is one way the City is doing our part to help our struggling neighbors avoid eviction and prevent homelessness during this pandemic. The City of Racine’s Emergency Eviction Prevention Program will help tenants, and in turn, landlords. Keeping our City’s residents housed is critically important in the midst of this crisis. We appreciate LSS’s partnership to administer these funds and serve our City’s residents,” said Mayor Cory Mason.

Lutheran Social Service’s Role

Lutheran Social Services will begin helping tenants apply at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 13th. Tenants can call toll-free 1-855-397-9520 to begin the process. They are encouraged to leave a message and LSS staff will call them back to walk them through the next steps.

“Housing is a key social determinant of health. We applaud the City of Racine for allocating CARES Act funding to assist residents facing eviction with rent and utility support,” said Héctor Colón Lutheran Social Services president and CEO. “LSS is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the City of Racine to provide landlords and tenants access to a financial counselor who creates individualized plans to address housing instability. And for several years, we have offered supportive services for residents experiencing homelessness, which is especially critical during these times.”

Eligible Residents

Low-income city residents at risk of homelessness or eviction due to COVID-19 will be eligible for up to $3,000 in rent and utility payments. Eligible households must have an annual income of less than 50% of Area Median Income (family of 4, $38,450). The apartment unit where the tenant resides must be in the City of Racine and the property owner cannot owe the City more than $3,000 in property tax payments (or must be current on a repayment plan for the rental property in question.)In addition to rental payments, eligible households will also receive limited case management services from LSS and referrals and connections to other services.

“We don’t want residents to have to choose between having a home and their health. Thanks to this partnership with Lutheran Social Services we will get tenants and landlords the financial support they need to keep people housed and help prevent homelessness,” said Mayor Cory Mason.

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About the City of Racine
With a population of 78,000, Racine, Wisconsin is the fifth largest municipality in the state of Wisconsin. It is home to manufacturing businesses that enjoy world-wide reputations, SC Johnson, CNH Industrial, Twin Disc, Modine, and In-Sink-Erator among them. Racine is also home to diverse cultures, a thriving downtown, and world-class beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan.