Milwaukee County has dispersed more than $80 million in emergency rent assistance to 22,600 households through a county rental and mortgage assistance program generated by federal COVID-19 relief funds since 2020, according to county officials.
Jim Mathy, the housing services administrator for Milwaukee County, testified to the County Board Health Equity, Human Needs and Strategic Planning Committee about the assistance program.
“We’ve done a lot of crisis housing and different things like homeless outreach for folks in active crisis. This was finally an opportunity to receive funding to do something upstream and proactive to keep people in housing before they lost it,” Mathy added.
The county’s will to maximize federal dollars over the last three years to increase housing security shows Milwaukee County can invest upstream and keep people out of housing crisis, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said in a statement.
“What this shows is that when Milwaukee County has the resources to invest upstream, we prevent individuals from facing crisis and encourage healthier, more successful outcomes for residents. Even with our financial constraints, we are making the most out of the resources and partnerships available to make a real impact in the community and continue our journey towards achieving race and health equity,” Crowley added.
On Tuesday, Milwaukee County and Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Milwaukee broke ground for family home developments in the city’s King Park neighborhood. The county invested a total of $6 million with the goal of creating 120 new homes, 80 standalone homes and 20 duplexes, with a focus on making Black and Latino families first time homeowners to help close the county racial homeowner gap.
The county had success in improving housing security and looked forward to continuing that success, Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services Director Shakita LaGrant-McClain said.
“Milwaukee County has made a commitment to improving housing security and preventing housing crisis in our neighborhoods. We’ve demonstrated success in this area, and I look forward to continuing that success in the King Park neighborhood with another large investment upstream aimed at turning residents into homeowners,” LaGrant-McClain added.