Mayor Cavalier Johnson
Press Release

OWNS program aims to bring rental properties to local owners


By - May 24th, 2021 03:25 pm

In response to an increase of out-of-state investors purchasing properties for rental purposes in Milwaukee, the City has created the OWNS program to support local investors. OWNS (Ownership, Wealth, Neighborhood Stabilization) is an initiative meant to boost local ownership of rental properties and to build generational wealth in Milwaukee communities. The program looks to incentivize existing homeowners to buy City of Milwaukee owned properties, for rental purposes, in their neighborhood with the belief that local owner investors will be more accountable and attentive to an investment property near their owner-occupied residence.

Common Council President Cavalier Johnson, a champion of the effort, believes this is one way to address the growing issue in Milwaukee. “It’s been well documented that absentee landlords from across the country are acquiring homes in the city at a rapid clip. If homes are going to be used for rental purposes, I’d like for our community to benefit. I want to thank the Department of City Development for piloting the OWNS program which I believe will allow for neighborhoods to create Ownership, build Wealth, and promote Neighborhood Stabilization. Interested residents should take advantage of this tremendous opportunity,” he said.

The OWNS program, which launched May 1, allows local investor-buyers to purchase City properties during the extended owner occupancy period after the bid opening. This means OWNS buyers are eligible to buy on days 31-60 of the property listing. Local investor-buyers must live and own their residence within 500′ of the property. Additional details and program requirements can be found by visiting

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