​Housing Cost Reduction Initiative Program (HCRI)

​The Housing Cost Reduction Initiative (HCRI) was created in 1989, by the Governor and the Wisconsin Legislature. The State set aside these funds to provide housing assistance to low- and moderate-income (LMI) households seeking to own decent, safe, affordable housing. The Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR) awards these funds to eligible applicants through a biennial funding cycle.

Eligible Activities

Eligible HCRI Program activities include:

  • Acquisition: Grantees can help eligible homebuyers purchase affordable homes by providing down payment​, closing cost, and/or gap financing assistance.

  • Foreclosure Prevention: Grantees can provide payment on behalf of homeowner to prevent foreclosure and/or utility disconnections.  Costs include payments to cover mortgage, property tax, principal, interest, and/or arrearages.

HCRI funding cannot be used to provide assistance for development costs, improvements to dwelling units, or payments on a construction or rehabilitation loan.  


HCRI Program funds are awarded through a biennial competition. Funds are distributed through partnership agencies throughout Wisconsin.


Eligible applicants for funding under the HCRI program include:

  • The governing body of a county, city, village, or town

  • The elected governing body of a federally-recognized American Indian tribe or band in the State of Wisconsin

  • A nonstock, nonprofit corporation organized under Chapter 181

  • A for-profit corporation organized under Chapter 180

  • A cooperative organized under Chapter 185 if the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the cooperative limit the rate of dividend that may be paid on all classes of stock

  • A religious society organized under Chapter 187

  • A housing authority, including a redevelopment authority or housing and community development authority

Households receiving assistance must have gross incomes at or below 80% of the County Median Income (CMI) adjusted for family size.  Homebuyer properties must be single-family and the primary residence of the owner.

Application Documents

HCRI 2021 Application Instructions

Documents & Forms

Information regarding the Housing Cost Reduction Initiative Program may be obtained by contacting the HCRI Program Manager at DOADOHHHRHCRI@wisconsin.gov