​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.

​​Documents & Forms