The Meadows, a new construction affordable housing community in Darlington, WI, has been selected to receive the Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc. 2023 Top Rural Development Initiative award. Cinnaire Solutions partnered with Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program (SWCAP) to develop the affordable housing development designed exclusively to support agriculture and farmworkers and their families.
“The Meadows is a testament to the power of partnerships in getting innovative, much-needed projects to the finish line,” said Nicole Solheim, Cinnaire Solutions Vice President. “Lafayette County is home to a booming agricultural industry that provides more than half of the jobs in the community. This project is going to change lives for farmworkers and their families while strengthening the local economy. It is an honor for our development team, including public and private partners, to receive this prestigious award.”
The award was presented at the Wisconsin Rural Partners 2023 Rural Summit in Mauston. The development is the first of its kind in Wisconsin to combine the USDA RD Farmworker housing loan with WHEDA tax credits and reflects the alchemy possible when partners from different sectors join energies to create positive impact for people and communities in need.
“Wisconsin Rural Partners applauds The Meadows in Darlington as an outstanding example of the many local efforts across the state that improve the lives of citizens in rural Wisconsin,” said Sandy Decker, WRP President. “This is an excellent collaborative model for small rural Wisconsin communities.”
Cinnaire provided a $4.1 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investment to support The Meadows. Key funding partners include USDA Rural Development, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago), United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), and the Wisconsin Department of Administration.
The Meadows features 32 two- and three-bedroom units in two townhome style buildings. The unique community offers fully-appointed apartment homes with large closets, extra storage, spacious kitchen with all appliances and pantry, separate dining, and in-home washer and dryer. Given the large farmworker population in the region, SWCAP is proud to facilitate the Multicultural Outreach Program, a volunteer-led initiative that works with immigrant families, the majority of whom are Latinx farmworkers. Volunteers lead ESL courses and provide advocacy during landlord, employer, or lender dispute. These resources are available in the community building at The Meadows. Residents also receive support and resources from SWCAP’s Farm Well Wisconsin program, which supports the mental health and wellbeing of Wisconsin farmers.
As the in-house development affiliate of Cinnaire, Cinnaire Solutions brings to the table a wealth of experience, real estate connections, and financial resources to help less-experienced partners bring their visions to life. SWCAP is a catalyst for building communities of hope, inclusion, and social justice, where poverty is overcome, and all people are empowered and thrive. The partnership between Cinnaire Solutions and SWCAP received widespread community support, including support from local, state, and federal partners.