Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Mayor Barrett Announces Housing Director and Housing Outreach Director

Team will manage mayoral housing initiative to continue to address foreclosure crisis, enhance partnerships and improve neighborhoods

By - Jan 8th, 2014 04:04 pm

Milwaukee – Mayor Tom Barrett announced today the leadership team for the Strong Neighborhoods Investment Plan, a multi-year effort focused on City-owned, vacant and abandoned property. SNIP seeks to reduce the blighting impact of vacant and abandoned property across the City and decrease the number of City-owned properties. The 2014 City budget allocates $11.7 million toward these goals.

Aaron Szopinski, an analyst in the City’s Budget & Management Division, has been named Housing Director, and Mario Higgins of the Community Development & Grants Administration Office has been named Housing Outreach Director.

Szopinski was the architect of the Strong Neighborhoods Investment Plan during the 2014 budget process, and Higgins has extensive experience with housing development projects. Together, they will coordinate the efforts of City departments, work with community partners, and provide accountability for the City’s investment in neighborhoods and housing under SNIP.

“The challenges we face are unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetimes,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “SNIP will tap into great ideas both within City government and the community. We will build on the inherent strength of Milwaukee neighborhoods. The SNIP program and the investments we’re making will make our neighborhoods even stronger.”

Mayor Barrett introduced the Plan to continue the City’s successful track record in dealing with the unprecedented break down of the housing market since 2008. Under Mayor Barrett’s leadership, the City organized a response to the foreclosure crisis that was nationally recognized for its effectiveness, and the Strong Neighborhoods Investment Plan will build on those achievements to further stabilize City neighborhoods.

Szopinski earned both a B.A. in Sociology and a M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the City of Milwaukee, he was an analyst and assistant manager in the Finance office of the Maryland Transit Administration and worked to implement performance measurement and performance-based budgeting in the agency.

Higgins earned his B.A. in Educational Policy with an emphasis in Community Education from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He has worked in the City of Milwaukee Community Development Grants Administration for the past 11 years as a Housing Development Program Officer and worked to coordinate strategies with City Departments, Community Based Organizations, and other stakeholders to achieve housing goals for the department.

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by Mayor Tom Barrett - Page 3

Mayor Tom Barrett Statement on Wisconsin State Senate Bill 3: Ban on Project Labor Agreements

"Hiring a well-trained, high quality workforce is a priority for me."

Mayor Barrett’s 10th Annual Holiday Drive Supports Local Veterans

Service Members Benefitted from Annual Drive during Holiday Season

Mayor Barrett Encourages Residents to Familiarize Themselves with Cold Weather Safety Information

Proper precautions are necessary to stay safe and healthy all season long

Lead Service Line Replacement Plan

Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement regarding the Common Council’s vote on the lead service line replacement plan

Mayor Barrett Reports on In-Person Absentee Voting Numbers

More than 38,000 in-person absentee ballots have been casted since September 26

Mayor Barrett Launches Violence Prevention Planning Process

Comprehensive planning process aimed at reducing violence, guiding citywide investment begins

Mayor Tom Barrett

Mayor Barrett Statement on Former Milwaukee Common Councilman Paul Henningsen

“My condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Mayor Barrett Reports on In-Person Absentee Voting Numbers

More than 6,000 in-person absentee ballots have been casted since September 26

Mayor Barrett Announces Extension of Milwaukee Public Library Fine Forgiveness Campaign

More than 6,000 Milwaukee residents have reactivated library cards

Mayor Barrett unveils enhanced resources for Milwaukee property owners

Private buildings have access to streamlined services, resources for energy efficiency

Mayor Barrett Highlights Neighborhood Revitalization Effort

Northcott Neighborhood House working to improve access to job skills, housing rehab

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *