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2000 Best Practice Awards

Best of the Best Winner: Wisconsin

Best Practice: Replacement Housing Program

Replacement Housing Program Provides for Students to Construct Homes

LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The Replacement Housing Program (RHP) uses Community Development Block Grants to buy and demolish dilapidated housing. RHP is a collaboration between the city of LaCrosse, the Western Wisconsin Technical College and Community Action Program (CAP). There was an immense need for the program. The neighborhood where RHP works has homes that are 80 to 100 years old. Many of the blighted structures were beyond repair. Many were boarded up or abandoned. Because LaCrosse is a university town, a majority of the new construction in the area is rental properties. RHP is the only source of owner occupied

Photo of recipients receiving Best of the Best award
John Florine/Robert Cruise/Kenneth Wing/Ed Young receiving Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)

affordable housing in LaCrosse low-income neighborhoods. After a parcel is cleared for construction, Home Investment Partnerships funds—approximately $186,000—are used to finance the construction of a new home. The students of the Wood Technologies class at Western Wisconsin Technical College do the actual construction of the home. The students serve as the construction work crew performing all tasks from digging and setting the foundation to last minute internal finishing details. A City of LaCrosse construction manager and the professor of the Wood Technologies class supervise the students. The students work on-site during the morning and attend classes in the afternoon. While the home is being developed, the City of LaCrosse works with CAP to do homebuyer counseling for income eligible clients.

Since the program’s inception, six homes have been completed and three more homes are in the development stage.

Contact: John Florine, Phone: (608) 789-7512
Tracking Number: 745
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)

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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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