MADISON, Wis. — New reporting from the La Crosse Tribune details how the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for Wisconsin, with $1.6 million in funding for affordable housing and clean water infrastructure.
Passed without the support of a single Republican in Congress, the American Rescue Plan has powered a historic economic recovery, with some of the lowest unemployment rates in decades.
Just over $1.6 million in federal relief funds were approved by the La Crosse city council to support initiatives addressing housing needs and clean water infrastructure.
The Common Council unanimously approved the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds Thursday for a first time home buyer assistance program, to support new housing construction and to extend the water main at Pettibone Park.
A down payment assistance program for first time, low income buyers was allocated $400,000, enough to assist about 20 to 25 households. In order to qualify for the program, a potential participant must have an income of $37,590 — 120% of the county median income — or less.
A project on Fourth and Jackson streets is expected to add 62 units of mixed-income housing, including 13 units for people transitioning out of homelessness, 10 units at market rate and the remaining for households with income at 50 to 60% of the county median income, or between $16,112 and and $19,335.
To support the new construction and bridge an unmet financial gap, the council approved reallocating $700,000 of ARPA funds from the La Crosse River Marsh Lead Contamination project to expand the Affordable Housing Revolving Loan Fund for the planned project at Fourth and Jackson.
The housing project was also awarded Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority tax credits.
Clean water infrastructure
The third initiative to receive ARPA funds is a water main extension project at Pettibone Park.
Currently, the two wells on Pettibone are not connected to the city of La Crosse water system. Due to intermittent flooding of the area and the wells’ locations, the city’s parks department is concerned about the long-term viability of the water supply.
The separate wells connect to and serve the Pettibone bathhouse and the Pettibone Boat Club.