Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Joaquin Altoro To Lead WHEDA

Evers picks Milwaukee resident to lead agency responsible for affordable housing.

By - May 15th, 2019 01:06 pm
Joaquin Altoro. Foreground image from Town Bank. Rear image by Jeramey Jannene.

Joaquin Altoro. Foreground image from Town Bank. Rear image by Jeramey Jannene.

One of Wisconsin’s biggest drivers of real estate development has a new leader.

Governor Tony Evers has appointed Milwaukee resident Joaquin Altoro to serve as the head of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

The agency is responsible for much of the affordable housing created in the state through its administration of the federal and state low-income housing tax credit programs. The authority also provides loans, grants and loan guarantees to first-time homebuyers, farmers and entrepreneurs.

Altoro currently serves as vice president of commercial banking for Town Bank. He’s also served on the City Plan Commission in Milwaukee since 2012, voting in favor of zoning changes and land sales for a number of projects he will now be involved in financing.

“Access to affordable housing is another important part of how we think about economic development in a more holistic way and connect the dots to attract new businesses and encourage existing businesses to grow,” said Evers in a statement. “I’m proud and excited to have Joaquin Altoro serve in this critical role ensuring that the state’s commitment to housing remains strong and solid. With his background in commercial lending and community development, coupled with his track record of fostering effective, successful public-private partnerships, Mr. Altoro is a great fit to ensure the ongoing success of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.”

The 45-year-old Altoro is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University and Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program. He also serves on the board of Milwaukee Area Technical College, Wisconsin Policy Forum, Milwaukee Rep, the city’s Black Male Achievement Advisory Council, Forward Community Investments and Nativity Jesuit Middle School.

Altoro will find a familiar face leading the WHEDA board in Ivan Gamboa. The Tri City National Bank vice president served on the City Plan Commission prior to Altoro. He was recently reappointed to serve as board chair, a position he first held under Governor Scott Walker.

Gamboa has represented the authority at recent ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings in Milwaukee in the absence of an executive director. Wyman Winston, a long-time Milwaukee resident, served as the director under Walker.

Altoro’s appointment marks the first time that members of the state’s Latino community have served in WHEDA’s top two leadership posts.

WHEDA’s Milwaukee office is located on the first floor of the Mercantile Lofts at 611 W. National Ave. in Walker’s Point. Altoro, a Milwaukee native, shouldn’t have any problem finding the office; he serves as vice president of the Walker’s Point Association.

Altoro’s first day will be June 3rd. His appointment is subject to confirmation by the Wisconsin State Senate. Confirmation of Evers appointees has been drawn out by a legal battle between Evers and the Republican-controlled legislature.

The new director will be joined by two other Evers appointees. The governor announced the appointment of former assembly reprenstative Kim Plache of Mount Pleasant to serve as the chief operating officer. Milwaukee resident Raynetta Hill has also been appointed to the WHEDA board. Hill is the regional manager of housing and services for the affordable housing developer CommonBond Communities.

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