Thousands in Milwaukee wait for rental aid as evictions crisis looms — 7/15/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Today we highlight Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service’s coverage of efforts to quell an eviction crisis in Milwaukee that is worsening as the pandemic drags on. 

Princess Safiya Byers reports that the Social Development Commission is struggling to respond to a 24,000-applicant backlog for rental aid in Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Washington counties. 

The agency as of July 10 distributed $363,000 of its $6.7 million in federal assistance under the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program and contacted 16,000 people in its backlog to explain their place in the application process, she reports. 

Community Advocates, which is separately distributing $7 million in federal housing aid, is sifting through a 1,500-application backlog, according to the report. 

Are you a Milwaukeean who is worried about losing your home or apartment because of the pandemic? Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media. Click here for details.

Top Stories

Aaron Maybin / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Two local agencies, the Social Development Commission and Community Advocates, are trying to keep up with the demand from residents who need emergency rental assistance.

2 agencies struggle to meet demand for Wisconsin Rental Assistance ProgramMilwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

Businesses thought they were insured against unforeseen disasters. Then the coronavirus arrived.Green Bay Press Gazette 

Audit: Too much, not enough sent to Wisconsin unemployedAssociated Press 

As scientists race toward a coronavirus vaccine, some worry that key steps might be missedMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Trump administration strips CDC of control of coronavirus dataThe New York Times 

Kohl’s and Pick ‘n Save announce they will start requiring masks to be worn in stores next weekThe Journal Times 

‘Think about other people’: Milwaukee’s mask mandate goes into effect ThursdayWTMJ-TV 

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Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization


“If everyone could wear a face covering over the next six weeks we could drive this (coronavirus) into the ground.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert R. Redfield, as quoted in several media outlets

Data to note

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Wednesday reported 821 new cases of COVID-19, with 5.9% of tests returning positive. The department reported one new death in a pandemic that has reportedly killed 827. 

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

DHS also reported Wednesday that 59 counties have a “high level” of coronavirus activity, an increase from 47 counties reported last week. 

Click here for more details on how the agency is measuring COVID-19 activity levels. The agency plans to update its data by 2 p.m. each Wednesday.

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Dane County on way to handing out 100,000 free face masksWisconsin State Journal 

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