Struggling With Rent? Program Offers Pandemic Assistance

Western Dairyland is local partner for federal program

V1 Staff

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that many of us continue to experience serious economic repercussions – lost jobs, reduced hours, and even medical costs. Statewide, thousands of households have fallen behind on their rent and face eviction.

If you of someone you know is in this situation, help is now available through the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA), a federally funded program which will be administered locally by Western Dairyland Equal Opportunity Commission in Eau Claire, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, and Clark counties.

According to Western Dairyland, WERA provides financial assistance for rent, utility costs, past-due rent and utility costs, and wrap-around services. When possible, rental and utility assistance payments will be made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenant.
Eligible applicants must:

  • have income loss or financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • be unable to pay their rent, behind on rent or have an eviction notice
  • be an adult Wisconsin resident with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income.

WERA is the second rental assistance program offered by Western Dairyland, coming several months after the conclusion of the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program (WRAP). Western Dairyland provided nearly $1 million in rental assistance to 550 local families between June and November last year.

Households in need of rental assistance in Eau Claire, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, and Clark counties are encouraged to call Western Dairyland at (715) 985-2391 or (715) 836-7511, or complete an online form at

Residents of all other counties will apply for rental assistance through their local community action agency. In Dunn, Chippewa, Pepin, Pierce, and several other west-central Wisconsin counties, the agency to contact is WestCAP. Learn more by calling (715) 265-4271 (press 0 for the receptionist) or by emailing

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