Redevelopment Authority finalizes housing plans

Grants, loans available for rehabilitation
Tim Ryan

SHAWANO — The city of Shawano is now open for business for property owners looking for help in rehabilitating residential properties.

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority has finalized a program offering a mix of grants and low-interest loans to property owners aimed at encouraging housing rehabilitation, particularly in the downtown.

“I’m very hopeful that people will take advantage of this,” City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said.

“There’s a lot of vacancies and there’s a lot of availability and I think there’s a lot of potential for utilizing these units,” he said. “We’re encouraging anyone who’s interested to come forward and apply.”

Those interested can contact Sheppard at City Hall at 715-526-6138 or

Sheppard said he will be meeting with the Downtown Business Improvement District board this week about promoting the program. The city is also looking at revamping its economic development page on its web site to promote the program.

A number of property owners have expressed interest but at this point there have been no formal applications, Sheppard said.

The RDA has $417,000 available for the program as a result of the closing of two of the city’s Tax Incremental Finance districts.

The RDA will offer to finance up to 30 percent of a project’s costs through the combination of loans and grants, under the plan.

Under state statutes that cover the use of Tax Incremental Finance money, property owners must verify their tenant housing costs will not exceed 30 percent of the tenant household income.

The plan is intended to modernize and improve the housing stock in Shawano while maintaining affordability, according to the plan description approved by the RDA, which will administer the program.

According to the RDA, nearly 70 percent of Shawano’s housing stock was constructed before 1980 and almost 90 percent of the housing stock was built before 2000.

Many of those homes no longer meet the needs of today’s households, particularly young families with children, the RDA states in the adopted plan.

Eligible applicants include those purchasing or residing in a home within the city looking to make substantial system or structural improvements to the home to enhance its efficiency and bring it to modern standards.