First of its kind in the Coulee area

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LA CROSSE (WKBT) — A new resource center in La Crosse hopes to bridge the gap between tenants and landlords. The Landlord-Tenant Resource Center is the first of its kind in the Coulee area.

The center will provide free legal services to help tenants understand their leases as well as resolve any disputes with landlords – an issue center members say they see almost every day.

With the rising cost of living, people find it difficult to pay their rent.

“There are a huge number of people seeking help with housing issues right now in the world of legal services,” said Deedee Peterson, executive director of Legal Action Wisconsin.

The fear of losing your home can make it difficult to reach out and ask for help.

“It’s obviously a basic need and so having that potentially at risk can be very scary,” said Becky Koske, assistant director of housing and community services at Couleecap.

Couleecap and Legal Action of Wisconsin chose to open the Tenant-Landlord Resource Center. The center is funded by the Equitable Recovery Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

“It really is a solution for the whole community,” Peterson said.

Legal Action of Wisconsin will help mediate tenant-landlord relationships and provide free legal advice.

“We are monitoring carefully to make sure owners are doing things according to regulations and the law,” Peterson said.

Couleecap will provide housing and education resources to people struggling to find affordable housing.

“It can be difficult to log in and find an available location or unit,” Koske said.

Peterson said no one should have to solve legal problems alone.

“Untrained people, not lawyers, going through legal issues alone is really problematic. It’s hard, it doesn’t lead to good solutions for anyone,” she said.

She says centers like this help people find a solution – without the burden of expense.

The center is inside the REACH Resource and Service Center on South 11th Street.

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