Neighborhood Program Eligibility

The La Crosse Promise Neighborhood Program is designed for any qualifying homeowners or home buyers who have the financial ability to renovate their current home, buy and renovate an existing house, purchase a new spec home, or purchase a lot and build a new home. Once the home is complete and other requirements are met, we will award up to $50,000 in scholarships sent in increments to the accredited college of choice.

For those families who would like to use the scholarship for dependent children, the intended student cannot be in high school before the move-in date. The family must stay in the home for at least four years to qualify for the scholarship.

We are currently accepting applications for families that build, buy, or renovate a single-family home within specific neighborhoods. The family must contribute a minimum of $150,000 in project investment through personal resources or market-rate financing. The total maximum lifetime scholarship for an individual student is $25,000. The maximum lifetime amount awarded to a family is $50,000. The scholarship may be used at any accredited public or private college in the United States. Adults who are on the deed of the home, as well as dependent children (not yet in high school), are eligible for the scholarship award.

How it Works


  1. Meet with a lender to get pre-qualified for the lot and construction loan
  2. Request a Build Family application from La Crosse Promise
  3. Choose a lot
  4. Submit the La Crosse Promise application for approval
  5. Choose a house plan
  6. Obtain a cost estimate
  7. Purchase the lot
  8. Submit a copy of the contractor bid
  9. Complete project within one year
  10. Live in the home for at least four years


  1. Meet with a lender to get pre-qualified for a construction loan request a Renovate Family application from La Crosse Promise
  2. Request a Renovate Family application from La Crosse Promise
  3. Talk to contractors and obtain a cost estimate
  4. Submit an application and intentions for the renovation to La Crosse Promise
  5. After receiving our approval, begin renovations complete project within one year
  6. Live in the home for at least four years

*You also have the option to buy a new spec scholarship home listed for sale. Once you purchase the home, you have 60 days after closing to apply for the scholarship.

Support Along The Way

La Crosse Promise will help program participants every step of the way—from finding a builder to securing financing.

Nearly a dozen local bank and credit union lenders have teamed up to provide financing for program participants. These lenders have agreed to raise the loan-to-value threshold requirement for mortgage insurance from 80% to 95% for qualified borrowers, saving families as much as $100 every month.

In addition, some employers offer additional incentives and financial assistance for employees to help cover costs of buying and building.

The City of La Crosse offers free house plans for Neighborhood Program families. These designs meet City building standards and will quickly pass the permitting process.