Housing projects for homeless in jeopardy due to financing, police calls 

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison’s two largest Housing First initiatives for the homeless are facing issues with conditions and finances. The city and partners are currently trying to keep the privately-owned sites open to protect the current tenants.

Heartland Housing, the Chicago nonprofit that runs the east side’s Rethke Terrace and the far west side’s Tree Lane Apartments, is planning to cease operations due to police calls to the properties and the organization’s inability to maintain and operate the sites. The nonprofit’s recent attempts to find a purchaser were unsuccessful.

Rethke Terrace, an $8.9 million project for chronically homeless singles and veterans, opened in 2016 at 715 Rethke Ave. Tree Lane Apartments, a $11.7 million project for homeless families, opened in 2018 at 7933 Tree Lane.

The city has declared both properties chronic nuisances due to the high volume of police calls — combined, they have produced 3,681 between their openings and mid-May.

The projects were financed in great part by federal tax credits delivered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. Heartland Housing has only a 0.01% ownership stake but is responsible for the management of the properties and their finances.