Case Studies

Affordable Housing

Stacey's Story

After her divorce eleven years ago, Stacy Warner moved to an apartment with her children. When her rent continued to increase without any improvements to her accommodations, Stacy was ready to consider new living arrangements.

Talking with a colleague who had experienced a similar situation, Stacy learned about CAP Services and Community Assets for People (CAfP) in Stevens Point that together provide down payment and rehab assistance to income eligiblehouseholds (up to 80% county median income). The program provides low-rate simple interest loans with payments deferred for up to 30 years (or sooner if the home is sold or is no longer the primary residence of the buyer). Households may also secure financing to make improvements in their homes to meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Quality Standards. Eager to learn more, Stacy contacted CAP Services and was connected with a homebuyer advocate, Nancy Thiede.

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Brillion Apartments

To keep rents affordable, Invest in Wisconsin partner Community Assets for People with its parent organization CAP Services secured a financing structure that included equity from tax creditor investors, conventional lending and competitive affordable housing funds, ensuring that rents stay affordable for years to come.

Small towns in particular are often faced with limited, affordable housing options. As a result, seniors, in particular are forced to leave communities in which they have lived their whole lives because they cannot manage the cost and demands of home-ownership. Community Assets for People provided funds to CAP Services, one of Wisconsin’s most successful non-profit developers, to build Brillion Apartments. A 24 unit development of senior and family housing on the north side of Brillion, near many services and commerce that people need. Units have attached garages, dedicated parking, private outside entrances, appliances, and in unit laundries. All utilities, except for electricity are included.

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First Time Homeowners

Chakoia & Gregory Morehouse

Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation’s financial awareness programming has allowed the Morehouse family and more than 150 other lower-income individuals build assets – including first-time home ownership, start or expand a small business, or return to school for post-secondary education.

Chakoia and Gregory were both residents of the Housing Authority of the city of Milwaukee until recently when they moved into their first home! After graduating from Invest in Wisconsin partner Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation’s Make Your Money Talk financial awareness empowerment series, they each opened an Individual Development Account (IDA), combined their savings and match dollars, and together reached their goal of becoming first-time homeowners!

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Consumer Auto Loans

Ally & Morgan Burke

Ally contacted the Work-n-Wheels program run by CAP services and funded by Invest in Wisconsin partner Community Assets for People, which was able to help them fund a vehicle purchase.

Faced with a high risk pregnancy, Ally Burke had been unable to work during the late spring and early summer of 2015. As the primary wage earner for her family, this required rigorous financial management. Morgan, her husband, was working part time and also enrolled in school, pursuing a certified nursing assistance degree.

In the fall of 2015, when the family’s 2003 Mazda broke down, the family had few financial options to over come their transportation issues.

Ally contacted the Work N Wheels program run by CAP services and funded by Invest in Wisconsin partner CAfP, which was able to help them fund a vehicle  purchase. The family found a car just before the Wisconsin winter kicked into high gear. Now Ally is back at work, Morgan continues to work and go to school and the family is able to go where they need to go!

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Supporting Microenterprise & Small Businesses

Buttons and Bolts

When her local quilt shop closed, Heather Deegan saw a need arise in her community. There was not another quilt shop in a 20-mile radius.

The look and feel of products is not easy to appraise unless you know exactly what brands to buy. The big box stores were great on prices but low in quality. Tired of the lack of options, Heather decided that she wanted to open her own store.

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FEED Kitchens

In November of 2013, Food Enterprise & Economic Development (FEED) Kitchens opened, offering food vendors an accessible,affordable and professional commercial kitchen space.

Located on Madison’s Northside, FEED Kitchens is a project of the Northside Planning Council (NPC), and home to nearly 80 food businesses including bakers, caterers, professional chefs, coffee roasters, meat smokers, sauce makers, spice mixers and cake decorators. FEED Kitchens is managed by Adam Haen, an experienced Wisconsin chef and expert navigator when it comes to helping food businesses complete licensing and approval process, as well as finding markets and making connections for their products and services. In 2016, NPC added the FEED Bakery Training Program and Healthy Food for All, providing additional opportunities and resources to low-income residents on the Northside and beyond.

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One City Learning Centers

One City Early Learning Centers opened its doors in late 2015 in a neighborhood that Vice President and Center Director, Marlo Mielke, describes as an “early childhood education desert”.

Located on Madison’s Southside, the center is situated in one of the most racially ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods in Wisconsin. According to Mielke, parents have been searching for quality childcare in their neighborhood, where stories of parents commuting long hours to access affordable care were common.

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Go-Green Painting LLC

After 30 years working as a painter – fraught with seasonal work and lay-offs – Allen Danforth was ready for a change. He had a potential that others could see. After painting a residential property, the homeowner – impressed with Allen’s work and professionalism, asked – “Why doesn’t someone like you have his own business?”

Allen took the comment to heart. Later that day, Allen went to Bay Bank in Green Bay to deposit the check from the job. Here, he encountered Jeff Bowman, an acquaintance from their grade school days. The two started talking, and Allen learned that Jeff was the president and CEO of the bank. Throughout their conversation, Allen’s interest in starting a business came up. Jeff suggested that he attend a seminar on business development hosted by First American Capital Corporation (FACC), a Wisconsin CDFI serving Native American communities. Allen had heard about the event and decided to attend at Jeff’s urging.

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Craig Clements, President, Pro Electric

Back in 2005, as a young father of year old triplets, Native American Craig Clements made a bold move when he obtained his Wisconsin Master Electrician’s license, ISA Level II certification and then promptly went into business for himself.

Today, Pro Electric is a robust, full-service electrical contractor actively working on commercial, industrial, street lighting, traffic signal, railroad and airport projects statewide.

Sufficient working capital is important to every business, but especially important given the niche services that Pro Electric provides. Twice in 2009 and again in 2015, Invest in Wisconsin partner First American Capital Corporation, the lending arm of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, was there to provide loans for a dump truck, excavation equipment and the expansion of the Directional Boring Division, which has proven to be the most profitable for Craig's company.

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