Milwaukee County LIFT Program - Meeting Recap

06/18/2024 11:30 AM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

By Dawn Anastasi, RPA Board Member

Today Milwaukee County Housing Services had a meeting regarding their new LIFT Program.

What is LIFT?

LIFT stands for "Landlord Incentives to Foster Tenancy". LIFT was launched on June 1, 2024 to address the soaring demand for rental housing in the Milwaukee County.

LIFT was created based on feedback from landlords, including feedback from an RPA survey from 2021. Yes, the feedback from RPA members helped this program!

The Housing Authority heard from rental property owners reasons why Rent Assistance was not considered. One of those reasons is that it is very difficult (if not impossible) to collect monetary damages from program participants for damages to rental units.

What are the Benefits to Rental Property Owners who Enroll in the LIFT program?

  • Damage reimbursement up to 3x the contract rent
  • Vacancy loss reimbursement up to 1x the contract rent
  • New member bonus: Get $500 when you lease to a referred LIFT household using rental assistance for the first time
  • Referral Bonus: Receive $250 for each owner/manager you refer who leases to the LIFT household with rental assistance for the first time. $100 bonus for each additional referral beyond the first.
  • Dedicated rental owner support team
  • Ability to list vacancies with the LIFT website.

How Does an Owner Join the LIFT Program?

1) Fill out a Membership Agreement on the LIFT website.

2) Fill out the Property Intake Form for each property you're entering into the LIFT program.

After the short presentation by Alexi Millard and Connor Goggins of Housing Services, they opened the session up to a Q&A. Here are some of the questions asked/answered:

Can claims for damages be made DURING tenancy instead of just at the end?

Yes, the LIFT program website allows for submitting claims for tenant damage made during tenancy. The rental property owner can submit photos, and/or an inspector can come out to verify damage. The owner will need to get a minimum of 2 bids for work and submit verification of actual expenses (receipts, invoices, etc). Damages can include that caused by the tenant, their pets, and/or their guests.

Does the LIFT program cover existing Milwaukee County Rent Assistance tenants?

No, this program is only for NEW tenants signed as of June 1, 2024. If an existing tenant is having trouble paying their rent, they can be referred to the Eviction Prevention Program which provides financial assistance payments to landlords.

Does Milwaukee County Housing Services have an open wait list for vouchers?

No, the wait list is closed. Milwaukee County Housing Services has other programs besides Rent Assistance and these include MyHome and Rapid Rehousing.

Milwaukee County has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country due to a shortage of rental units. 70% of people leaving homelessness need a studio or 1 bedroom unit, so these unit sizes are especially in demand.

Where can a rental housing provider find out more about the Milwaukee County Housing Authority Section 8 program?

Please see a link to the 54-page PDF here.

If you were not able to attend today's session and have more questions, please post a comment to this post. The Milwaukee County Housing Authority will also have additional informational sessions to be held virtually for those who cannot make it out in person.


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Rental Property Association of Wisconsin, Inc. (Formerly AASEW)
P.O. Box 4125
Milwaukee, WI 53204-7905
Phone: 414-276-7378

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