Collage of different types of houses

Dane County Housing Initiative (DCHI)

--Partnering to promote business retention, a stable workforce, and ensuring all Dane County residents have a place they can call home!

Dane County is home to a thriving economy, vibrant communities, abundant natural resources - and residents who enjoy a high quality of life! Yet, thousands of Dane County residents - our neighbors, co-workers and family members struggle to stay in their homes and afford the basic necessities such as food, health care and transportation to and from work.

happy family
Economic Impact - The lack of workforce housing negatively impacts area employers; research shows higher employee turnover due to longer commute times and lower job satisfaction. Higher priced housing drives up wages, further increasing the cost of doing business and reducing our regional competitiveness for attracting and retaining employers.
African American school teacher and students

There are thousands of other Dane County residents who can’t find housing including senior citizens on fixed incomes; school teachers, entry level professionals, maintenance and service sector employees; families with children and single parent families; and those with disabilities, who face daily hardships that are difficult for many of us to imagine.

In Dane County, there are many organizations to help you meet the demand for housing in your community.

According to a recent report, Housing Needs Assessment: Dane County and Municipalities, "Over 12,000 very low income households pay more than 50% of their income in rent in Dane County, of those 2,200 are seniors.

Dane County Housing Programs 

Dane County Housing Initiative (DCHI)

DCHI is a public-private partnership of residents, elected officials, financial institutions, housing developers, school districts, private sector employers, local government staff, non-profit housing agencies and interested stakeholders. DCHI works to develop a network of information and resources, facilitate communication and learning, and help build strategies and decision-making capacity to expand housing options in Dane County. DCHI is a program of the Dane County Planning and Development Department. Please contact Olivia Parry at, for further information.

Dane County Housing Authority

Dane County Housing Authority (DCHA) administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program providing eligible families and individuals the opportunity to rent homes of their choice in the private sector. DCHA distributes more than 6 million dollars in rental subsidies on behalf of Dane County Residents to Landlords each year. DCHA has an allocation of 1,211 vouchers through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The DCHA also owns and operates a portfolio of affordable rental housing including Public Housing, USDA Rural Development housing and affordable Market Rate housing. Please visit to find out more.

The Official Blog of the Dane County Housing Authority

Dane County Human Services Housing Services and Programs

Dane County provides over $1.8 million in the Human Services budget to fund services for people who are homeless or have difficulty with housing. These services are not mandated, but are considered a priority by the County Executive, County Board, and citizens of Dane County.

Services include the Dane County Housing Help Desk, a one-stop shop for assistance and information housing, as well as eviction prevention. To contact the help desk, call 608-257-8278, or visit them at the Dane County Job Center room #2 at 1819 Aberg Ave. in Madison, WI.

Joining Forces for Families program is for families facing a financial emergency to prevent loss of their housing and homelessness.

Briarpatch Youth Services provides emergency shelter to youth and homeless teens, as well as other services to children and teens in need of housing.

For more information on Dane County Human Services housing related programs, read here, or contact Casey Becker, Communications & Homeless Services Manager, at 242-7511 or

Dane County Office of Workforce and Economic Development

Dane County CDBG & HOME

Each year Dane County receives approximately $1.4 million in federal HOME&CDBG funding to support housing and community development initiatives that benefit primarily low- and moderate-income residents of Dane County.  The HOME program is designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.  Dane County works in partnership with local organizations to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent, homeownership, or direct rental assistance to low-income residents.

For more information on these programs, please visit


Dane County Affordable Housing Fund

The purpose of the AHDF is to encourage the development of affordable housing in Dane County by using the AHDF as a means to leverage additional resources from project partners.  Additional resources might include CDBG/HOME funds, affordable housing tax credits, private financing, grants and other sources that will serve to address the shortage of affordable housing in the County.  Dane County expects to make available $2 million per year through 2018 from the County’s Capital Budget to support the AHDF.

Dane County Planning and Development

Planning and development provides technical assistance to communities interested in expanding housing opportunities to address the housing gap, with assistance in strategic and comprehensive planning, public policy and programming, and stakeholder facilitation.

Senior Citizen

The Dane County Housing Initiative, a public-private partnership of elected officials, financial institutions, housing developers and non-profit housing agencies, is here to help! Please take advantage of these important resources, and help make a difference for the residents in your community.s