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CORE Program


The Dane CORE Program is a partnership between the City of Madison, Dane County, and the Tenant Resource Center to provide approximately $15 million in federal funds for emergency rental assistance for those impacted by COVID-19. The program provides rental assistance for those who are behind on rent, reside in Dane County, are at or below 80% of area median income, and have experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19. For more information on eligibility, please see our Eligibility Page.

The Dane CORE Program is significantly different than the assistance provided by the CARES Act in the summer of 2020 as the regulations for these federal funds come with numerous requirements of income verification as determined by the US Department of Treasury. We know that these restrictions will be a challenge to many renters, but are hoping to overcome these challenges by providing assistance to applicants with access issues, hosting in-person application support in community locations, and posting guidelines and FAQs on a regular basis. The Tenant Resource Center does not have control over these documentation requirements and will be unable to waive these requirements per federal regulations.

Please Note: The Dane CORE Pre-Application is an online system that tenants and landlords can access to complete a pre-application for rental assistance. Due to federal regulations, there is no paper application form for the program. 

Payment processing will occur once per week and will begin in March and will continue until funds are exhausted.

Please Note: While the Tenant Resource Center will provide in-person application assistance in the community, our offices are closed due to COVID-19. No materials will be received at our office locations, check out our application assistance page to make an appointment.

Please Note: For those concerned with immigration status or applications, these funds are not weighed in Public Charge determinations and will not adversely affect immigration status or applications. For more information on public charge, please visit the National Low-Income Housing Coalition's Frequently Asked Questions guide.

Documents Required

Please see our Documents Page for more details. 

Who Can Apply?

Please see our Eligibility Page for more details. Per the federal rules, applications for assistance must be co-signed by tenants and landlords. This means that both the primary leaseholder (someone named on the lease) and the landlord must apply. In order to make this process easier to navigate, either the Tenant or the Landlord may begin the pre-application process. In the pre-application, tenants and landlords will be provided optional fields to give contact information (email address or phone number) for their tenants/landlords. This will notify the other party of their need to submit pre-application materials. Note: Getting contact information (such as email address or phone number) for your tenant or your landlord will expedite the application process. 

What is Covered?

The Dane County CORE Program can cover up to 12 months of back-owed rent (including mobile home lot rent) from rents after the start of the pandemic (March 12th, 2020) and all allowable fees included in the lease and eligible under ATCP134.

What is not covered by Dane CORE funding:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Rents for residents who are doubled up (living with someone but not on the lease)
  • Back-owed rent for tenants who have passed away
  • Hotels/Motel residents
  • Utility payments paid directly to Utility provider (MG&E, Alliant Energy, etc.)
  • Future rent
  • Fees/charges that are not allowable under ATCP134

The Act requires a prioritization of assistance for households with incomes less than 50% of area median income or households with one or more individuals that have not been employed for the 90-day period preceding the date of application.

Additional prioritization of assistance is based on the following:

  1. Currently in or at risk of default of court order payment plan
  2. Income (below 30% AMI)
  3. History of past eviction judgment on CCAP
  4. Property is locally owed (within Dane County)
  5. Those who have lost employment within the last 90 days

What is the Tenant Resource Center?

The Tenant Resource Center is a nonprofit, membership organization dedicated to promoting positive relations between rental housing consumers (tenants) and providers (landlords) throughout Wisconsin. By providing information and referrals, education about rental rights and responsibilities, and access to conflict resolution, we empower the community to obtain and maintain quality affordable housing.