Your summer quarterly newsletter is here!

WI-CARH Summer 2020 
In this Issue: 

Message from Russell Kaney

WI-CARH Annual Conference Postponed

James Poehlman Scholarship

Rural Development Multifamily Housing Realignment Wave 1 Announcement

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

LaValle Housing Authority Update

Youth Grant and Scholarship Opportunities
MessageMessage from Russell Kaney WI-CARH President

Living in Interesting Times.......

What a year! We are just past the halfway point of 2020 and for most of us, it has been a year like no other. The summer months have allowed everyone to open the windows, get outside, enjoy our summer. But with the lack of venues, social distancing, continuous health precautions, many of us have become weary of the grind.

The current pandemic reminds us of the basics for our families, our communities and ourselves. Health, food, housing are the basic essentials for households to feel safe and prosper if not just exist for the time being. Many families are figuring out the school reopening right around the corner, day care for children to allow one to work. Having employment is a blessing and a curse for some, knowing how much exposure you have to others around you.

Our housing interests built around WI-CARH will hopefully provide you with assistance and assurance that what you do matters. Households with Rural Development funding and with Rental Assistance have helped ease the burden and stress of worrying about how to pay for next month's rent.

As we see the Federal financial stimulus approved in the spring burn off, we are all anxiously awaiting what may be renewed, what assistance may be available for the short term and ultimately for prospects of a healthier housing industry. I have seen great collaboration among housers in Wisconsin over the past five months. Everyone is trying to figure out many of the same problems, issues, and protocols.

Unfortunately, due to the continued safety concerns and protocols for large group gatherings, WI-CARH made a decision to cancel our in-person fall conference scheduled in October at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells. We have booked the same location for October 2021 with no financial penalties for your organization. As we all look forward to hearing the latest in industry developments, updates on housing, financing, management, compliance, networking, we are also very much aware of the health concerns many of you that have attended in the past expressed to us in a recent survey. We completely understand the sentiment.

Later this year, we are planning to have a series of short (1 hour or less) sessions via Zoom or Webinar that will address some of the important topics we traditionally cover at the conference, including a session on our lease with all the updates and insight from our attorney.

What you do is important. Not only are you providing essential housing for families and seniors in Wisconsin, you are providing employment for many people. Your work does not go unnoticed and is much appreciated. Let WI-CARH know how we can help. Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy. We really are in this together.

Russell Kaney 
President, WI-CARH

WI-CARHWI-CARH Annual Conference Postponed 

The 23rd Annual WI-CARH Conference has been postponed

With the health and safety of training participants in mind, the Wisconsin Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (WI-CARH) has decided to postpone the 23rd Annual Conference and it has been rescheduled for October 28, 2021 at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells.  

Thank you for your cooperation and stay well!

JamesJames L. Poehlman Scholarship:  A Lasting Legacy to our Founder 

The Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (CARH) Scholarship Foundation provides college scholarships to exceptional students who reside in rural affordable housing across the United States. The Foundation was created in 2005 to promote education and expand opportunities for residents of CARH-member properties. The Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 entity, began with two scholarships in 2006, and now awards five scholarships each year. The first two scholarships were named in honor of James L. Poehlman of T&C Associates of Middleton, WI, and Gordon L. Blackwell of GLB Associates of Raleigh, NC. Jim Poehlman was a founding member of CARH and past board member. He also served as the Chair of the Owner and Development Committee, Co-Chair for the Aging Portfolio Committee, an Advisory Trustee, and 1998 Member of the Year. He passed away in 2004.

It was a goal and challenge for Jim Poehlman to establish a Wisconsin chapter of CARH. In 1998, he organized a rural housing conference in Madison, Wisconsin primarily to bring together owners, managers and organizations interested in the future of rural housing and rural communities. With a great turnout and positive response, wheels were set in motion to start a Wisconsin Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (WI-CARH). Jim became our first President and his staff at T&C Management handled the administrative functions of WI-CARH at a very reduced cost. As today, WI-CARH focused on training, education, and advocacy, building better relationships with rural housing practitioners, with WHEDA, HUD and of course, with Rural Development-USDA.

Currently, five scholarships are administered by the CARH Scholarship Foundation. No better tribute to Jim Poehlman is the continued educational support for rural young people.

Note: Information about the qualifications for the CARH Scholarships can be found on the CARH website at

Rural Rural Development Multifamily Housing Realignment

Wave 1 Announcement

Published July 7, 2020 | By Tamara Schultz, CARH
To continue to meet the increasing demand for safe and affordable multifamily rental housing in rural America, MFH leadership has reorganized MFH programs into an integrated model with specialized teams. This integration will allow MFH to establish streamlined business processes, provide consistent and predictable work for staff, and improve customer service. Below is an overview of the MFH Integration. Please click  here for additional details.

The transition to the integrated model will occur in two waves. On July 6, 2020, the first wave launched in the National Office and the Northeast region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia). The second wave will include the remaining states in the South, Midwest, and West regions and is scheduled to launch in early October 2020.

In the new model, all MFH staff will be aligned to 1 of 3 integrated divisions: Field Operations Division, Production & Preservation Division, and Asset Management Division. The table below outlines a brief description of each of these integrated divisions:
                                 Overview of Future State Divisions            
Field Operations Division
The Field Operations division is organized regionally with teams delivering routine servicing and troubled asset servicing remaining in their current duty station in the field to maintain a local presence. This team will report through a regional structure up to divisional leaders.
Production & Preservation Division
The Production & Preservation division will process, underwrite, and close all multifamily direct, preservation, and guaranteed loan transactions. Each branch will support all the MFH programs, including 515, 538, Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR), prepayments, and preservation efforts. This division will also oversee Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) drafting and administration efforts for Farm Labor Housing, Housing Preservation Grants, MPR, technical assistance, and 515.
Asset Management Division
The Asset Management division will oversee portfolio risk and overall portfolio health, with regionally aligned servicing teams to support field operations and the use of the new risk-ranking effort.
In the National Office, the future state leadership team are:
  • Adam Hauptman - Assistant Deputy Administrator
  • Lauryn Enrico - Director, Production & Preservation Division
  • Jen Larson - Director, Asset Management Division
In the Northeast Region, Laurie Warzinski is Acting Field Operations Division Director. In this role, Laurie will provide leadership for all Field Operations staff in the Northeast Region. Each servicing team in the NE Field Operations Division will be supervised by a team lead reporting to Laurie.
Posted in Press Releases

WisconsinWisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority 


Wisconsin Housing and Economic Authority 
Media Release

For Immediate Release: July 29, 2020
Contact: Jennifer Sereno, WHEDA, 608-770-8084 
WHEDA welcomes applications for rural affordable workforce
housing initiative
MADISON - The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is now welcoming applications for the rural affordable workforce housing pilot.
The pilot will work with stakeholders from at least three rural communities to develop partnerships and processes that ultimately will benefit communities statewide. Participants at listening sessions organized by WHEDA cited many factors contributing to Wisconsin's shortage of rural, affordable workforce housing including rising construction costs, limited developer interest due to the smaller scale of rural projects; aging housing stock; few affordable rental options; zoning, infrastructure challenges; and limited financing for new construction and renovation projects. Information about the initiative including the rural affordable workforce housing initiative plan and application documents can be found  here .
WHEDA's rural affordable workforce housing initiative includes the pilot effort and supplemental financing tools designed to better serve rural communities by overcoming gaps in existing programs.
A recording of a July 24 webinar covers the application process for the pilot effort including the need for communities to apply with a diverse team of stakeholders that demonstrate geographic, demographic, public and private collaboration. The slide deck for the webinar can be found here . The  rural affordable workforce housing initiative page also contains  FAQs . Applications for the pilot effort will be due Aug. 31 with participating communities announced in early October.
For questions about the application process, email:  To keep up with information about the pilot and other WHEDA initiatives, sign up to receive emails  here  and follow us on  Facebook Twitter  and  LinkedIn
For more than 45 years, WHEDA has worked to provide low-cost financing for housing and small business development in Wisconsin. Since 1972, WHEDA has financed more than 75,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 133,000 families purchase a home and provided more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees. WHEDA is a self-supporting public corporation that receives no tax dollars for its operations. For more information on WHEDA programs, visit or call 800-334-6873.

LaValleLaValle Housing Authority Update 


On Saturday August 1, the LaValle Housing Authority set up 60 feet of a water barrier (Water-Gate) at Central Park Apartments. Saturday, was a trial run to test out how to set up the barrier before it is needed. This building is owned and operated by the Village of LaValle and managed by Charity and Rockie Sobeck

The barrier is designed to prevent flooding within the apartments. Some have said it is not a matter of 'if' a flood will happen again it is a matter of 'when'.   

The barrier when needed, will surround the apartment complex.  The Water-Gate barrier is an alternative to sandbags because you can set it up quickly.  In addition, the barrier remains stable, regardless of the length and direction of the flow, or the slope of the terrain. The barrier can be set up during the flood. 

Central Park Apartments received a grant through the WHEDA Foundation.  Central Park Apartments contains eight units for low-income seniors, is a member of WI-CARH, and is located in LaValle, Wisconsin. 

On August 28, 2018, LaValle was hit with a devastating flood with about two feet of water that stood in the apartment.   Residents had to move out for approximately four months while the apartments were redone with the help of Habitat for Humanity and volunteers in the community.  

Charity and Rockie Sobeck received the 2019 Project of the Year Award from USDA and they also received the 2019 Managers of the Year Award from WI-CARH.  

Please click this  link  to see the story that appeared on NBC 15 News in June of 2019 regarding the flood, clean-up efforts and how they rebuilt.  

YouthYouth Grant and Scholarship Opportunities

  Applications for the grant and scholarship program are being accepted now!

Wisconsin Council for Affordable & Rural Housing 
(WI-CARH) is accepting applications for the 2020-21 Youth Grant and Scholarship program.   Please spread the word and help us make a difference in a student's f uture!  Youth grants in the amount not to exceed $500 per student, per y ear, until all funds are used, will be awarded to enable students in grades 3-12 to participate in an academic enrichment activity. Eligible activities include:  Little League, Soccer, Volleyball or Basketball Leagues, 4H Camp, Music or Band Camp, Sports Camp, Cheerleading Camp, Girl Scouts or Boy Scout Camp, and an International Youth Exchange Program.  T hese activities are on a year-round basis and not limited to the summer.

Help your residents achieve their educational goals.  A $500 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior or adult wishing to further their education.  Eligible applicants can use the scholarship at any two (2) year or higher accredited public or private school in the State of Wisconsin which offers an associate or undergraduate degree or a vocational/technical program. 

Applications for the  grant and  scholarship program are being accepted now.  Please check our  website for more information or click on the  grant and  scholarship links for an application.  

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