Majority of funds will be designated to City’s housing and foreclosure crisis
Mayor Tom Barrett today announced his plans to commit significant resources from the Community Development Block Grant Fund to solve the City’s housing crisis. The total amount that will be reprogrammed comes to approximately $2.3 million dollars, with a majority of the funds allocated toward housing projects. Considerable funds will also be designated to improving the City’s employment, environmental sustainability, quality of life and opportunities for Milwaukee youth.
Resources will be distributed to City Departments and community organizations for the purposes of: demolishing foreclosed homes, transitioning current renters to property owners, providing financial counseling to new home buyers, rehabilitating rented properties occupied by lowincome residents, restoring distressed or foreclosed properties, distributing loans for housing repair and constructing new residential units in Milwaukee.
The Mayor announced his plans on Milwaukee’s north side at a recently purchased, city-owned home scheduled to close next week. Mayor Barrett stressed the major impact quality housing standards have on the City’s economic prosperity and quality of life.
“The dimensions of this problem are big,” Mayor Barrett said. “Obviously the lives of individuals and families are disrupted, neighborhoods are hurt by problem properties and downward pressure on home values and the drain on city resources – and tax payers’ dollars – are very serious.”
In 2008, the financial crisis and economic recession aggravated an increase in housing foreclosures in Milwaukee. To address this problem, the Mayor created the Milwaukee Foreclosure Partnership Initiative (MFPI), which was lauded nationally and boasts a series of notable accomplishments. The current Community Development Block Grant dollars will continue MFPI’s efforts to combat the effects of foreclosed homes and maintain healthy housing standards.
“Milwaukee has been a leader in addressing the impacts of the foreclosure crisis,” the Mayor said. “Our efforts aimed at prevention, intervention and stabilization have lessened the damage. Our work has received national recognition – and earned Milwaukee additional federal resources to continue the work. We are not letting up. There is plenty of work to do. And we will not allow the continuing foreclosure issues undermine the fundamental strength of Milwaukee and its neighborhoods.”
The financial breakdown of the $2,375,561 in reprogramming dollars is as follows:
· Department of Neighborhood Services; Demolition of Blighted Properties: Program involves the demolition of tax-foreclosed blighted and distressed properties, $400,000
· Housing Resources; Post Purchase Education and Counseling: This program provides homebuyer counseling and other homebuyer assistance activities to facilitate mortgage loanclosings for first-time low-income homebuyers. Besides pre-purchase counseling and mortgage loan assistance, non-profit community-based organizations provide budget counseling and assistance with credit repair. Services also include post purchase assistance to residents in obtaining home improvement/ repair loans, refinancing of existing mortgage loans, tax default and mortgage default counseling. In addition, the homebuyer counselors act as a liaison between homebuyers, lenders and real estate professionals, $50,000
• Department of City Development; Rental Rehabilitation Loan program: Loans for the rehab of residential rental units, for occupancy by low-moderate income households. Eligible improvements include code and safety items, energy conservation, lead hazard reduction, roofs, siding, electrical, plumbing, heating, kitchen and bathroom updates and more. The property must meet City of Milwaukee code requirements upon completion. $474,467
• Impact 7; Rental Scattered Site Housing (In-Rem/ Foreclosed Properties): Rehab of foreclosed and/or In-Rem properties for occupancy by low/moderate income residents. $31,889
• Acquire, Rehab and Sell (10units): Rehabilitation of existing In-rem/foreclosed housing units for sale to low/moderate income owner- occupants. $250,000
• Select Milwaukee; Acquire, Rehab and Sell (15 units): Rehab distressed properties in the Target Area. Convert a minimum of 10 foreclosures and/or short sales to owner-occupied housing units using purchase-rehab production model. Collaboration with Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative, Layton Blvd. West Neighbors and Sherman Park Community Association. Focus is on deteriorated, boarded and vacant properties with an emphasis on tax foreclosed structures. At completion, the properties are code compliant and energy efficient and are sold to income eligible residents. $187,500
• Neighborhood Improvement Project(Community First, Dominican Center for Women, Social Development Commission, Gibraltar Development Housing Resources Inc., Sherman Park Neighborhood Association) Owner Occupied Rehabilitation: Administered by several community-based housing organizations. Forgivable housing rehabilitation loans for repairs based on interior and/or exterior municipal code violations. NIP clients must be owneroccupants of the property for a minimum of two years before applying for assistance; agree to remain an owner occupant for at least three years following the completion of the housing rehabilitation work and household income must meet income eligibility guidelines. $180,705
• Department of City Development Rent to Own: Tenants of City of Milwaukee Tax foreclosed properties will be offered the opportunity to purchase homes they currently occupy. $300,000
• Community Advocates; Community for Returning Women Soldiers (26 units; 1,2,3 bedrooms): Rehab of multi-unit building into 26 residential units(1,2 & 3 bedrooms) for occupancy by low-moderate income households. The property must meet City of Milwaukee code requirements upon completion $200,000
• Community First; Ingram Place Apartments (53 units; 2 and 3 bedroom): New housing construction. 53 multi-unit building (2 & 3 bedrooms; N. Holton Street. At completion, the units are rented to City of Milwaukee income eligible residents. $300,000