Graham Kilmer

New Homes Model Future of Affordability

Community Development Alliance showcases three model houses that are part of city-changing affordable homeownership effort.

By - Apr 12th, 2024 11:42 am

VIA CDC affordable home at 1217 S. 35th St. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Three model homes on display Thursday aim to offer a glimpse into the future of affordable housing in Milwaukee.

The Community Development Alliance (CDA) brought busloads of residents, local officials, bankers and insurance professionals to three new homes that model the type of housing the nonprofit is attempting to create for first time Black and Latino homebuyers in Milwaukee.

So today is a day that’s been 60 years in the making, because we haven’t built entry level homes for black and Latino families really ever and haven’t built it for anybody for the last 60 years,” said Teig Whaley-Smith, CDA director. “And we have three new model homes that are a part of 150 homes are being built by Alliance members.”

The homes on display Thursday were developed by Lange Bros. Woodwork Co., Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity and VIA CDC. The homes, and others like it, will be sold for $125,000 or less to first-time homebuyers, which translates to an approximately $1,200 monthly payment.

The idea for the program came out of a strategic housing plan developed by CDA and others. The plan states that Milwaukee needs approximately 32,000 new Black and Latino homeowners to close the racial housing gap.

The model homes are the first of approximately 150 affordable homes that will be developed, Whaley-Smith said, adding that the ultimate goal is a system that creates 100 new homes a year.

The effort is being support by funding from local nonprofits and federal and local funding. The Habitat model home is an example of the kind of single-family homes that will be built in the King Park neighborhood as part of an affordable homeownership that received funding from Milwaukee County.

Habitat will build 80 new homes for the project, and Emem Group will build another 20 duplexes.

The majority of the 80 Habitat homes will be like the 1,008-square-foot home at 2232 W. Vine St., said Habitat’s Chris Garrison. They will be built on vacant lots which Habitat acquires from the city for $1.

On the south side, VIA CDC has plans to develop 18 affordable homes. The home at 1217 S. 35th St. is the first new-build for the non-profit, which has focused on rehabs in the past, said Luis Reynoso, VIA CDC real estate planning and outreach coordinator. The 1,160-square-foot home features three bedrooms and one bath and will be available for families making 80% of less of the median area income.

On the north side, at 5708 N. 39th St., participants in Thursday’s tour had a chance to see the Lange Bros. first house built using the LUSH (Lange Urban Sustainable Housing) system. The novel construction method uses fabricated pieces of recycled wood that fit together almost like Legos. The pieces are manufactured by Lange Bros. at a factory in the former Milwaukee Lead Works building at the intersection of N. Teutonia Ave. and W. Hampton Ave.

Housing plays a critical role in health, educational and employment outcomes, Whaley-Smith said.“And so we have not provided in our city and in our country the same homeownership opportunities for black and latino families and its time to change that,” he said.

The tours Thursday were intended to create some community excitement and spread the word about the homeownership effort, he said, but also for CDA partners to collect feedback on the quality of the homes, their affordability and what should be included with them.


UPDATE: The monthly payment figure has been updated.

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Categories: Real Estate

One thought on “New Homes Model Future of Affordability”

  1. Carolannbrill says:

    Wonderful! Nice to see Good News!

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