U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley on Thursday toured a county-owned, foreclosed home in Wauwatosa to get a feel for what a $5 million federal investment the Senator secured for affordable housing access in Milwaukee County would look like.
In 2022, Baldwin obtained $5 million in the 2023 fiscal year funding legislation to help the county flip foreclosed properties and prioritize sales for first-time homebuyers, the senator’s office said. The project would give access to affordable housing and rehabilitate blighted properties, officials added.
Crowley told The Daily Reporter that affordability and availability of housing was part of his goals for achieving racial equity in the county.
“There is still work to be done to get these projects moving and get residents into homes, but thanks to great partners like Senator Baldwin and (West Allis) Mayor (Dan) Devine, we’re leading the way on the largest suburban housing push in a generation. These are the kinds of investments we need to make to encourage healthy communities and set residents up for success,” Crowley said.
The county appropriated $19 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds last year for further affordable housing development, county officials said.
As previously reported by The Daily Reporter, Crowley on March 7 signed legislation to start four contracts with developers to build affordable housing developments in South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and Brown Deer. The $10 million investment was part of those ARPA funds.
Crowley said the developments were a “huge step forward” for the county. The investment is meant to counteract barriers between people and affordable homes outside Milwaukee such as historical discrimination, resistance, rising construction costs and rising property costs, a county spokesperson said.
Milwaukee County’s 6th District Supervisor Shawn Rolland said the funding was a “winning streak” for affordable homes in the county. He said he attends budget briefing meetings in Wauwatosa and heard residents ask for affordable housing, especially families who have children with special needs.
Scott Crawford Inc., J. Jeffers & Co., Luther Group, MSP Real Estate Inc. and Jewish Family Services Inc. (JFS Housing) will serve as the developers for different projects. They will build a combined total of 211 apartment units in the Milwaukee area.