by Isiah Holmes, Wisconsin Examiner
The Homes MKE initiative in Milwaukee took another step forward Wednesday after Mayor Cavalier Johnson signed a resolution selecting the development teams for the initiative. Homes MKE aims to renovate a minimum of 150 vacant city-owned residential properties in Milwaukee.
The resolution, which was signed after a unanimous common council vote, authorized the property sales to the selected development teams. It also authorizes the housing rehabilitation and work force subsidies which will be used to embark upon the home initiative. Mayor Johnson praised the resolution, recalling the effects housing insecurity had on his own life in a press release statement.
“This is personal for me, so I am proud to work with the Milwaukee Common Council and our development partners to deploy the Homes MKE initiative and revitalize vacant residential properties into renovated homes,” said Johnson. “This is the power of partnership on full display. Together, we are building stronger neighborhoods, promoting home ownership and working to ensure every Milwaukeean has access to the quality, affordable housing they need.”
The development teams were selected to work with the Department of City Development (DCD) and others to renovate the vacant properties. Development agreements will be hashed out by the DCD, and the implementation of Homes MKE will begin.
Homes MKE aims to prioritize the development of housing for city residents, and coordinate with redevelopment teams to have positive impacts in the surrounding neighborhood. One of the initiative’s goals will also be to collaborate with local residents to provide housing resources and opportunities where the Homes MKE properties will be located. Last year, Johnson and common council members allocated $15 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the DCD for Homes MKE. According to Eviction Lab, the city’s eviction rate has been 41% above average as of Sept. 10.
A mix of emerging developers, for-profit developers, and non-profit developers were selected for the teams, including: Acts Community Development, Advanced Investors, FIT Investment Group, LLC/Westcare Wisconsin, Inc., Maures Development Group, One 5 Olive/Milwaukee Community Land Trust, Rico Love Foundation LLC/Mayfield Properties, Strong Blocks, CME Development, LLC, Even Life, Inc., Ezekiel Community Development, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, Servant Manor, T.A.S. Solutions, LLC, Walnut Way Conservation Corp./Silicon Pastures II, LLC, and Walters Renovations, LLC.
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