Supervisors Approve Affordable Housing Plans
Progress on two major affordable housing projects pushed by Crowley.
A Milwaukee County Board committee provided key approvals that will allow county administrators to move forward with two major affordable housing projects.
One project is aimed at building more than 100 affordable homes in the King Park neighborhood that will eventually be sold to first-time homebuyers in the majority Black neighborhood. The second project will invest more than $2 million into a fund purchasing houses to keep them out of the hands of out-of-state investors gobbling up Milwaukee’s housing supply.
“The foundation of housing is one of the main social determinants of health, and there still remains a large gap as relates to homeownership for African-Americans throughout Milwaukee,” County Executive David Crowley said in July when he signed a spending resolution with funding for affordable housing projects in suburban communities.
King Park Homeownership Project
The county is investing approximately $8 million in the King Park Neighborhood through what DHHS is calling the King Park Homeownership Project. The money for the project comes from a Neighborhood Investment Fund grant from the state.
Habitat for Humanity was awarded a contract to build 92 homes in the neighborhood that, once built, will be available for first-time homebuyers.
Emem Group, a local real estate firm and homebuilder, was awarded a contract to build up to 40 homes that will be developed using Affordable Housing Tax Credits. These homes will be rented out for a period of 15 years, after which they will be available to purchase.
“This is important,” said Shakita LaGrant-McClain director of DHHS, “because it helps to pilot a long-term source of funding for building projects in the future.”
Acts Housing Homeownership Acquisition Fund
The county created a task force to vet spending proposals for its $183 million pool of ARPA federal stimulus funds.
In September, the task force recommended a proposal to invest approximately $2.6 million into a new fund being managed by Acts Housing that will be used to purchase homes in Milwaukee that would otherwise be purchased by predatory out-of-state investors.
The fund will be used to purchase 100 homes each year, LaGrant-McClain said, preserving them for homeownership and assisting homebuyers with purchasing them.
Sup. Willie Johnson Jr. saluted the proposal and congratulated the county’s housing division for moving it forward. “This process is an investment,” he said. “It’s a community investment, and not only helps these families — the families that purchase the homes — it helps the community to build equity.”
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