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Programs

Housing

Community Development Alternatives offers an option for people in housing need. CDA uses revolving loan funds – money paid back from housing assistance loans – to help residents with the greatest need, and for which traditional assistance program funds may be unavailable.

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Public Facilities

CDA has helped many communities in SW Wisconsin develop strategies to address necessary or state-mandated infrastructure improvements or economic needs without severely impacting the community’s financial health or its tax payers. CDA uses an innovative approach that combines many available resources, including state, federal, and private.

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Economic Development

At Community Development Alternatives, we focus our energies on serving small rural communities that have many of the same problems as big cities, but fewer resources to address them. The shortage of affordable housing, the funding of rural schools, the maintenance of critical infrastructure, and the creation of employment opportunities; all remain significant challenges facing rural communities. CDA stands ready to help.

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Tourism

The Crawford County Tourism Council continues its mission of promoting Crawford County through its partnerships. The CCTC focuses on promoting outdoor recreational opportunities in Crawford County, including the distribution of the Outdoor Go To Guide, featuring information on hiking, biking, fishing, boating, birding, and camping. 

Disaster and Flood Relief

When disaster hits, communities have all they can handle in day to day survival. CDA can help with long-term recovery. CDA has assisted communities in Southwest Wisconsin submitting grants to CDBG – Emergency Assistance, FEMA, and DNR for flood relief. Grant application efforts are ongoing and are awarded based on need.

Umbrella Projects

As a 501c3 non-profit organization, Community Development Alternatives serves as the financial arm for regional organizations and efforts that strive to make Southwest Wisconsin more economically viable for residents and more appealing to visitors. See photos of our projects here. Those organizations include:

More About Housing

Community Development Alternatives administers Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration to assist income eligible residents of communities to address housing needs. The funds are to be loaned to property owners to make eligible improvements to their property.

Communities Covered:

The Counties of Crawford and Grant; the Cities of Lancaster and Prairie du Chien; and the Villages of Eastman, Blue River, Bagley, Cassville, Gays Mills, Soldiers Grove, Wauzeka, and Readstown.

Terms of Loan:

  • 0% interest.
  • No repayment (for as long as owner continues to own and occupy the property).

Eligibility

  • Income limits apply. Please call to see if you qualify.

Eligible Improvements

  • Replacement of inefficient furnaces and water heaters.
  • Insulation of attic areas, sidewalls, and basements.
  • Replacement of inefficient doors and windows.
  • Replacement of roof and siding as necessary.
  • Upgrade of electrical system or correction of code violations.
  • Sanitary sewer and water lateral replacement.
  • Actions to address accessibility issues.

Approval

  • A Housing Assistance Committee, appointed by the community will act on each application.
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More About Public Facilities

CDA helps communities identify the specific nature of a problem with a planning process that determines the real problem rather than the symptom. CDA then develops alternative solutions to the problem and potential funding sources for a remedy. CDA will assist the community in pursuit of funding. 

CDA assisted the City of Fennimore with construction of a grocery store; the Town of Glen Haven for a new fire station; the City of Prairie du Chien for a water/sewer main replacement; the Village of De Soto for a sanitary sewer main replacement; the Village of Bloomington with a water/sewer main replacement; the Village of Dickeyville with an economic development utility extension; and the Village of Viola with an economic development street/utility extension.

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More About Economic Development

CDA understands that every activity in a community can lead to economic development. Affordable housing with quality child care attracts young families who represent the workforce employers are seeking. Upgraded infrastructure with capacity for growth allows businesses to locate or expand in a community. CDA is a CDBG READI Certified Organization which offers yet another funding source for business location or expansion. 

The establishment of broadband throughout the Driftless Area results in the development of rural areas, allowing home-based businesses to spring up, and families to remain in a desired school district that rely on the internet as a communication tool with students. Tourism brings dollars to the area – evidenced by the Driftless Area Art Festival that brings more than $130,000 in artist sales over the two-day event.

Everything we do is economic development.

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Broadband Development

CDA is the fiscal sponsor and is working with 3C Co-op to bring broadband to every household in Crawford County. This is an ambitious project, similar to the electrification of rural America 80 years ago, and one that is of equal importance in today’s world. 

If we only did the easy, low-risk projects, progress would be even slower than what we experience today. We try not to do what is easy, but what is right. 

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