Alder Juliana R. Bennett
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Bennett’s Blog
COVID-19 Campus Resources
We are nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and many, including myself, are wondering when we'll finally see the end. In the meantime, familiarize yourselves with the ongoing mutual aid efforts in Madison in case your or anyone you know might be in need. Below is a compiled list of resources as we head into the remainder of the 2021 Spring Semester. Consider helping us spread the word about campus resources available to our community.
My term as an Alderperson will end on April 20th. Until then, I've made it a priority to focus on communication between myself and the incoming District 8 Alder. My goal is to have my successor entirely briefed on the role of the District 8 Alder to ensure continuity for the campus community. As always please feel free to email me at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
-Alder Max Prestigiacomo, firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 & TESTING
To ensure your saliva sample is not rejected, in the hour before your test:
- Do not drink (including water)
- Do not eat
- Do not brush or floss your teeth, or use mouthwash
- Do not chew gum or smoke
If you have not already, download the SaferBadgers App.
- At this time, eligible individuals in the campus community include frontline health care personnel and individuals with direct contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, employees of the UW Police Department, and people over age 65.
- These criteria do permit students to be vaccinated, including medical, nursing, and pharmacy students, as well as students from other parts of campus who are working in clinical settings, including some in the School of Education and in the School of Social Work.
Beginning March 1, eligibility will expand to include the following individuals at UW–Madison:
Education and childcare (including faculty and staff with direct student contact)
Some public-facing essential workers (including utilities and communications infrastructure personnel)
Non-frontline essential health care personnel (such as those who perform health care support roles, such as cleaning.
While Wisconsin DHS has also said facility staff and residents in congregate living settings will be eligible, this does not include students in residence halls or group housing.
HOUSING & EVICTION PREVENTION
To be covered under the CDC eviction moratorium, you must meet this criterion and fill out the free online declaration tool below:
- Annual income is less than $99,000, OR you were not required to report income tax in 2019, OR you received a stimulus check;
- You are unable to pay rent due
- You would become homeless
- You will make partial payments -- "using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual's circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses".
- The City of Madison and Dane County recently announced the availability of up to $16 million of emergency rental assistance from the federal government explicitly for low-income renters. The pre-application process is currently open.
- Who can apply?
- 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). Monthly assistance is capped at 115% of Fair Market Rent (see our Eligibility Page for details); so if your rent exceeds 115% of Fair Market Rent, your payment will be adjusted accordingly.
- Dane County CORE does NOT cover:
- Mortgage payments
- Rents for residents who are doubled up (living with someone but not on the lease)
- Hotels/Motel residents
- Utility payments
- Future rent
- Documents Required:
- 2 Months of Previous Income Statements (Such as unemployment statements, wage statements, check stubs, TANF, etc.)
- IRS Form W9
- Signed Copy of Lease (Or Signed Declaration of Verbal Agreement)
- Rent Ledger showing back-owed balance
- Eviction Notices (if served)
While tenants protections in the City are extremely limited, courts have continued to uphold a City's right to having a rent abatement process. Rent Abatement is a way tenants may be able to reduce their rent if a landlord fails to fix certain housing code violations.
You can find the list of housing code violations that might entitle you to rent abatement here
The Rent Abatement Process:
- First, you should contact your Landlord to make repairs immediately. If your landlord has not made repairs, you can call Building Inspection at (608) 266-4551.
- Then, an inspection will take place and Building Inspection will send the property owner an Official Notice. The Official Notice will list any violations along with due dates for fixing the issues. The notices will also list which violations may be eligible for Rent Abatement. Properties only become eligible for Rent Abatement if the property owner does not correct violations by the due date(s).
- Building Inspection also publishes notices in the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesdays for three (3) consecutive weeks. The publication will list addresses, apartment numbers, and eligibility. If you're eligible, you must apply for a hearing within 30 days of the first notice's publishing date. To apply, call (608) 266-4551 and ask for the Rent Abatement Clerk.
- Once you are this far in the process, the Rent Abatement Clerk will guide you through a hearing process to approve rent abatement. This hearing is overseen by the City Hearing Examiner. As of Friday, February 26th, the tenant application fee will be indefinitely waived. It is also worth noting that studios and other high-efficiency properties where living spaces are combined into one, might be eligible for increased abatement (this is at the discretion of the Hearing Examiner)
Potential COVID-19 Student Relief Fund
The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) is currently pursuing legislation to allocate over $2 million in Reserve Funds towards direct rental assistance. This effort would prioritize all those ineligible for FAFSA (Undocumented Students, Dreamers, International Students, etc...). However, the University has blocked this proposal claiming legal concerns. ASM maintains the legality and is still pursuing this effort, so I will continue to update this document if the proposal is implemented.
UW-Madison has created an Emergency Support Form for UW Students. This also includes $9.9 million in emergency grant funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II). Current students may submit an Emergency Support Request using the online form in their MyUW Student Center.
To access the Emergency Support form, follow these steps: (under Student eForms and the Financial Aid folder).
- Go to your MyUW Student Center
- Select the 'Student eForms' Tile
- Select the 'Financial Aid Folder'
- Complete the 'Emergency Support' Form
Resources for FAFSA ineligibility (Undocumented Students, Dreamers, International Students, etc...)
- For graduate students and their families to request up to $100 per semester, no strings attached.
- Weekly distribution of prepackaged food boxes at Union South.
- UHS crisis line (608-265-5600, option 9)
- SilverCloud is an online, self-guided, interactive mental health resource that provides students with accessible cognitive-behavioral interventions 24 hours a day.
- SilverCloud does not require a referral from mental health or medical provider.
- This helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. (toll-free and confidential)
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) Crisis Hotline: 608-251-4445
Journey Mental Health Suicide Prevention Hotline: 608-280-2600
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Online AA Meetings
Narcotics Anonymous Online Meetings
ACCESSABILITY & COMMUNITY SUPPORT
- Please report any failure to provide assistance or discrimination to https://compliance.wisc.edu/eo-complaint/
Urban Triage is a local BIPOC-run nonprofit doing mutual aid across the community. See the website above for community-wide resources.
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