WI Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERA)


The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA)​ Program was created as a response to the loss of income for many rental households during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Funding for the WERA Program is from two separate programs: ERA1 is funded by the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enacted on December 27, 2020, set aside $25 billion in funding nationwide, and ERA2 is funded by the American Rescue Plan of 2021, enacted March 11, 2021, which set aside $21.55 billion.  Of that total, approximately​ $387 million of ERA1 and $306 million of ERA2 were appropriated to the State of Wisconsin.  A portion of these funds will be distributed to Brown County, Dane County, Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, the City of Madison, and the City of Milwaukee. The approximate State of Wisconsin share of the Coronavirus Relief funds is $322 million for ERA1 and $255 million for ERA2 and these funds have been set aside for WERA.​​​​​​


Eligible Activities​

​The WERA program can assist with the following:

  • Rental assistance

  • Rental assistance arrears

  • Security deposit

  • Late fees

  • Lot assistance

  • Lot assistance arrears

  • Utility assistance

  • Utility assistance arrears

  • Water assistance

  • Water assistance arrears​

  • Internet assistance

  • Housing stability services​

Client Eligibility

A household may qualify for the WERA program if at least one or more household individuals meet the following:

  • ​The applicant has attained the age of 18.
  • The applicant is a Wisconsin resident or holds a signed or pending lease agreement in the State of Wisconsin.
  • At least one or more individuals in the household meet the following criteria
    • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction of household income, experienced major costs, or experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic;
    • demonstrates a risk of being evicted, experiencing homelessness, or housing instability;
    • the household has an income at or below 80% of the area median income.
  • County Median Income (CMI) Chart 2023

How to Apply

To apply for WERA, contact Energy Services, Inc. (ESI)
ebsite: https://esiwi.com/rental
Phone: 833-900-9372
Email: support@wera.help

WERA Program Manager - Kathleen Spencer

Department of Administration​
Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources
P.O. Box 7970
Madison, WI 53707-7970​​