YWCA of Madison prepares to assume full ownership of historic downtown housing facility

Alliant Energy pleased with results; confident about Y's future
 
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True to its 1989 development plan, the YWCA of Madison assumed full ownership of its downtown housing facility, located at 101 East Mifflin Street, from Heartland Properties, Inc. (HPI), the affordable housing subsidiary of Alliant Energy, on Jan. 1, 2002. HPI owned 99 percent of the facility managed by the YWCA.
"We've made great progress over the years and are now in a financial position to exercise our option to purchase Heartland Properties' interest in the building," explained Eileen Mershart, executive director of the Madison YWCA. "This was our intention from the start."
Twelve years ago, the YWCA, City of Madison and Heartland Properties, Inc. partnered to renovate the YWCA, formerly the historic Belmont Hotel on the Capitol Square. The renovation into 106 apartment homes was made possible through a $3.1 million investment by Alliant Energy, tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, additional financial support through low interest loans and grants from the City, contributions from the YWCA and individual supporters.
In 1968, the YWCA acquired the 12-story hotel and adapted it for use as low income housing for women and shelter for homeless families. The renovation was completed in 1991.
Mershart said assuming full ownership of the facility will streamline administration and enable the YWCA to combine operational efficiencies with management of the facility. She added how grateful the YWCA is to its investment partner. "Our decade long partnership with Heartland Properties made the renovation of this landmark facility possible. They provided the necessary financing to turn our vision into a reality."
Ruth Domack, president of Heartland Properties, Inc., said the YWCA's 'buy-back' is a success story, both in terms of downtown revitalization and creating affordable rental housing opportunities for families in need. "We're proud to have played a role in preserving one of Madison's historic sites and bringing much needed affordable housing to the downtown area," said Domack. "The YWCA is a shining example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors partner for the betterment of a community."
The YWCA was among the first of many HPI investments in similar projects, according to Domack. "We plan to continue this commitment to quality, affordable housing in communities served by Alliant Energy."
The Madison YWCA is a non-profit organization committed to providing safe, affordable housing for low income women and emergency shelter for homeless families. It is the largest supplier of low-income housing for women in Dane County. During the course of a year, more than 300 individuals and/or families reside either temporarily or permanently at the YWCA.
As part of the Alliant Energy's commitment to community and economic development, over the past 12 years, HPI has worked with local communities, non-profit organizations and private developers throughout Dane County to create more than 800 affordable apartments homes for seniors, families and persons with special needs.

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