Brief

Homes MKE development teams selected to renovate 150 vacant properties

By: - September 29, 2022 6:03 am

Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson of Milwaukee (City of Milwaukee website photo)

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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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.

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