LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) — As a way to revitalize struggling neighborhoods, the La Crosse Promise offers up to $50,000 in educational scholarships as an incentive for families to build or renovate a home located in the historic southside of La Crosse.
“Which is no small piece of potatoes,” Interested citizen Joyce Arthur said. “So it has been a win-win situation as far as I can see. We’ve got the hospitals close by and the community center close by. We’re four blocks away from the farmers market…. What more could you want?”
La Crosse Promise Executive Director Brian Liesinger agrees with Arthur. “The transformation of these two blocks, particularly sixth and fifth have been tremendous in the last two years and it’s only continuing,” Liesinger said. “So those sort of pillars of the neighborhood that have remained here and want to stay here but their house is aging so they need to do some updates–They can still get in on this too by doing significant renovation and earning scholarship dollars.”
The La Crosse Promise re-rehabilitates properties that were reclaimed by the city because of foreclosure or drug-related issues. Builders tear down what’s needed but keep what they can so the neighborhood’s history remains intact.
“I had no idea most of these programs existed,” Arthur said. “Much less what a huge impact they could have on the city as far as city’s housing investments.”
The scholarship money can be divided up among family members at a max of $25,000 per person.
Anyone interested in the program can call 608-789-2049 or go to the La Crosse Promise website for application rules.