By Dylan Deprey
While taking a drive down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the numerous amounts of opportunity that line the Harambee neighborhood are simply sitting behind boarded windows and chipped paint.
Whether it’s looking for a first-time home buyer or somebody searching for a fixer-upper, raising the funds to move into a foreclosed home can be extremely tough. Even for those with even a decent credit score have a slim chance, but a local community bank is stepping up to the plate.
PyraMax Bank announced it has pledged $1 Million in lending for purchase and rehab purchases in the Harambee neighborhood during a press conference on July 15, 2017.
Gary White, PryaMax Community Development manager, said that PyraMax has served Milwaukee for nearly 100 years. As he has worked throughout communities in Milwaukee, he said there was a lack of rehab lending and the arbitrary guidelines for lending that were driven heavily by peoples’ credit scores.
“What we’ve found is that rehab dimension is critical for neighborhood stabilization and family pride,” White said.
He also acknowledged that the process could not have been made possible without for-profit, non-profit and governmental entities pulling together towards the same goal.
Representatives from the City of Milwaukee, ACTS Housing, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC), Take Root Milwaukee and Milwaukee Riverworks were in attendance.
“It truly is a family affair,” White said.
Mayor Tom Barrett applauded the neighbors that have held some of the 100-year-old homes in Harambee near to their heart. He also acknowledged the great organizations, amenities and development happening in the area.
“This is a neighborhood whose roots are very deep, and the trees themselves are mature trees, again with deep roots,” Barrett said. “By having these deeps roots, you are better able to weather-the-storm, no matter if it’s an economic storm or any type of storm whatsoever.”
Dan and Holly Graves, and Jessica and Vincent Noth and their three children will soon be moving into a duplex in the Harambee Neighborhood.
“We’re super excited to move to this block because of the neighbors,” said Jessica Noth. “We’re so thankful to PyraMax Bank willing to take the risk to give us the loan to put forth rehab dollars for this property.”
Noth advised anyone, especially those who have been renting for years, to consider becoming a homeowner in Milwaukee’s ever-evolving neighborhoods.
“We would really like to see renters from the Harambee, Riverwest and surrounding areas, those renters that maybe never thought of purchasing a home before to come and join us and take advantage of this,” Noth said.