Ald. Bob Bauman
Press Release

City’s STRONG Homes loans offer options to those whose insurance is threatened

News release from Alderman Robert Bauman

By - Dec 12th, 2014 11:56 am

Some Milwaukee homeowners are facing a new form of redlining, Alderman Robert Bauman said, but a new city program offers the assistance they need to keep their homeowners’ insurance—and their homes.

“It’s shameful that this decades-old, racist practice of trying to price people out of neighborhoods has once again reared its ugly head,” Alderman Bauman said. “Thankfully, just as we’re getting wind of it, the city is set to go online with the STRONG Homes Loan Program, which can help working-class homeowners.”

Alderman Bauman said the city has received reports from residents whose insurance companies are threatening to cancel homeowners’ insurance policies if they don’t complete pricy roof replacements. In neighborhoods hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, Alderman Bauman said such repairs can be financially unfeasible without help.

But starting on January 2, owner-occupants in Milwaukee can apply for loans of up to $20,000 to pay for emergency repairs, essential rehabilitation and to correct code violation orders, with loan interest rates between zero and three percent. In addition to roof replacement, eligible projects include the replacement of failing porches and the repair or replacement of deteriorating siding or failing exterior paint.

Qualifying households must have an income at or below 120 percent of the area median ($84,360 for a family of four). 25 percent of the loan amount will be forgiven if the owner stays in the home for 10 years.

Information and applications are available at milwaukee.gov/STRONGloan.

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