Council looks to maximize positive benefits with ARPA-funded housing rehab and construction work
With significant investments in housing rehabilitation and new construction funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on the near horizon for Milwaukee neighborhoods, the Common Council today approved legislation that seeks to maximize pathways to new homeownership, opportunities for local hiring and local contracting, and an overall emphasis on strengthening lower-income neighborhoods.
Common Council file #210967 (attached) – authored by Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs and supported by 11 co-sponsors – requires all city ARPA allocations for housing rehabilitation and new construction to ensure that seven things are prioritized with regard to possible neighborhood impacts (including resident displacement), job training and local hiring/contracting opportunities, owner-occupied homeownership, and efforts to increase homeownership among African-American and Latino communities.
Alderwoman Coggs, chair of the Licenses Committee and a member of the Finance and Personnel Committee, said the legislation will help to “leverage the best possible results” when allocating ARPA dollars for housing rehab and new construction.
“We know that the ARPA funding is providing a unique opportunity to support and increase access to quality housing and job-skills training and workforce opportunities across many Milwaukee neighborhoods where that new and rehabilitated housing is sorely needed,” she said. “The resolution we passed today helps ensure that not a single hammer is swung on a project until the seven criteria are evaluated (for that project) by the Department of City Development.”
Council members also included in the resolution’s standards language to ensure the strengthening of existing homebuyer readiness programs, and for any measure that puts money into existing programs, each program’s criteria is to be evaluated for unnecessary barriers to applicants.
The co-sponsors of file #210967 are Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderman José G. Pérez, Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderman Robert J. Bauman, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderman Cavalier Johnson and Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.
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