Housing Renovation Loan Program

The City of La Crosse is launching a second year of the Housing Renovation Program. This program has NO income eligibility requirements and is available to all households living within a targed area (see map). The purpose of this program is to encourage property owners to upgrade and update their homes. The new Housing Renovation Program can also be paired with the La Crosse Promise Program within certain areas (the Powell Poage Hamilton and Washburn Neighborhood). Download an application now here (PDF). Application in Microsoft Word

You can receive up to $40,000 to repair or replace items such as roofing, siding, windows, electrical, upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, and more. The City of La Crosse offers a 1% deferred loan, payable after 10 years, when home transfers ownership or is refinanced.


The City of La Crosse is prioritizing encouraging its residents to make significant repairs and do remodeling work on their homes. This is part of a its strategy to revitalize its neighborhoods and improve its aging housing stock. 

Open Application Period

Applications for the program will only be accepted starting June 10 and ending July 22, 2019 and due to limited funds, projects will be selected based on a competitive process. 

City Wide Rental Conversion Program

Property owners who convert a duplex or a triplex into a single family owner-occupied home will be eligible to have 20% of their principal loan amount forgiven upon repayment. Property owners who renovate a single family rental will be eligible to have 10% of their principal loan forgiven upon repayment. The rest of the loan terms and amounts are the same as the "Targeted Area Housing Renovation Program" (Up to $40,000, 10 year-term, 1% interest, with Balloon payment, loan forgiveness depending on the type of conversion). 

This incentive is available city-wide and is available to current owners of a rental home or buyers of a former rental home that was rented out for at least 2 consecutive years and the owner must prove that it was a rental for at least two (2) years (through leases, city records, etc). 


Program Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the City's Housing Renovation Program you must meet these requirements:

1. The home must be located within the required boundaries of the program - (see map). All properties within "buffer" or half-mile of TIF 14 and TIF 15 are eligible. 

OR the property must be a rental to owner-occupied conversion.

2. The home will be used as the Borrower's principal residence within 12 months from program loan closing or the subject property will be sold to an owner occupant buyer within 12 months from program loan closing.  

3. Home must be assessed at a minimum of $70,000

4. Property will be owner-occupied continuously for 10 years after loan closing (guaranteed through a land-use restriction agreement recorded against property) 

5. This program is not open to La Crosse Residents who qualify for the income-based Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program. If you earn less than 80% of the County Median Income, you must apply for our Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program (instead of this program). See household member table below to see if you earn less than 80% of the County Median Income. 

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6
Annual Income $44,050 $50,350 $56,650 $62,900 $67,950 $73,000

*If you earn less than these amounts listed above, you are not eligible for this program and must apply to the City's Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program*


Other Requirements 

1. May not borrow more than 100% of the Loan to Value (Based off of Fair Market Value (FMV))

2. Application fee of $295, payable to the City of La Crosse Treasurer's, after Committee approval of project.

3. There is a match requirement. The owner must contribute 25% of total project costs through borrowed or personal funds (see examples below).

4. Home must be brought up to meet code and meet minimum HUD Housing Quality Standards (verified through an initial and final inspection by City Staff).

5. At least 25% of the loan must go towards exterior renovations (defined as siding, roofing, soffit, fascia, windows, exterior doors, chimney repair, porch, front entry, etc)                                                                                      

What Repairs Can Be Made?

Basic components of your home that can be repaired or replaced may include items such as: roofing, siding, foundation, windows, doors, painting, interior walls/ceilings, flooring, heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing systems. In addition, modernizing or upgrading rooms. All areas of the home must be brought up to code and meet the Minimum Housing Quality Standards, as verified by inspections by City Staff. 

Contracting for Work

Homeowner is responsible for the solicitation and selection of all contractors. Work must be completed by a licensed, insured contractor.

More Information

If you think you may qualify or would like additional information, please contact Kevin Conroy at conroyk@cityoflacrosse.org or (608) 789-7336 or Tara Fitzgerald at fitzgeraldt@cityoflacrosse.org or (608) 789-7363. Download a Housing Renovation Application.

Boundaries (see map for all areas)

Powell-Poage-Hamilton and Washburn Neighborhoods, south of downtown and neighborhoods surrounding Gundersen Campus, Mayo Clinic Campus, and Viterbo: Cameron Ave (N), Mississippi River (S), 5th Avenue (Easte), 13th St (West). 

Holy-Trinity Longfellow Neighborhoods, near Trane Plant and chart Industries: Farnam St (N), Mississippi River (S), Mississippi River (W), 31st St S (E). 

Rental to Owner Occupied Conversions: Available City-Wide

Project Selection Process

There are limited funds available for the respective programs. All requirements identified for eligibility must first be satisfied and then project selection will be awarded based on the scoring system below: 

Property Address:

Housing Renovation Scoring


POINTS Achieved


Check If Meet Criteria


Exterior Needs Improvements




Property Inventory Evaluation (PIE) identifies property as Below-High to Below-Low https://gis.cityoflacrosse.org/maps/housing_market_index/



PIE identifies property as Standard (High, Average, Low)



PIE identifies property as Above-High-Above Low

Curb Appeal Enhancement




Project includes work that will maintain or restore the historical character of the home or significantly improve the home's exterior.



Extra exterior architectural details will be added as a result of this project.

Use of a single contract for all work.




1 contractor utilized.



2 or less contractors.



3 or more contractors

Detail of Plans and Specifications and Bids Provided




Bids and plans and specifications included



No bids provided, no plans or specifications included






If no pie scoring available, staff will use discretion on which category the property meets. Staff may also change PIE score according to its judgement and discretion.

Financing and Loan Example

 Example Parameters
· FMV $97,500
· Current Mortgage Balance: $76,000
· Initial LTV 78%
Loan and Homeowner Contribution Details
· Total Project Cost  $46,667
· Loan Amount $35,000
· Homeowner contribution of 25% $11,667
· Exterior Improvements required 25% $11,667
Projected New Property Value (Equalized Value): Assumes that 50% of the improvement will be added to determine equalized value
· $46,667 @ 50% $23,234
· Initial FMV $97,500
· Equalized Value $120,934
· Initial Mortgage Balance $76,000
· Renovation Loan $35,000
· Total Indebtedness $111,000
New LTV 97% (≤ 100% qualifies)

Housing Renovation Application PDF form

Housing Renovation Application Word Document