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Finding the foreclosures

Every aldermanic district in the city of Milwaukee has city-owned foreclosures, except for Alderman Joe Dudzik’s.

Dudzik’s share of the city, the 11th district, juts into Greenfield and West Allis. According to numbers from the Department of City Development, his is the only district not to have any city-owned commercial or residential foreclosures.

Both types of foreclosures are heavily represented in the 15th district, a swath of city blocks in the center of Milwaukee, and in the sixth district, which lies between the 15th and the municipalities of Shorewood and Whitefish Bay. The 15th district aldermanic seat is vacant, and Alderwoman Milele Coggs represents the sixth.

Some districts, like the 13th, represented by Alderman Terry Witkowski, draw close to Dudzik’s double goose egg. Witkowski’s district, a southern spur that includes General Mitchell International Airport, has two commercial and four residential foreclosed properties owned by the city. The third district, represented by Alderman Nik Kovac, has only 1 commercial and two residential city-owned foreclosures. The third district is bordered, mostly, by the lake and by the sixth district.

Martha Brown, deputy commissioner for the Department of City Development, said the foreclosure numbers in each district reflect the overall real estate market in that area. Some were hit harder by the recession than others.

But Dudzik said he doubts his lack of city-owned foreclosures has anything to do with him.

A large number of his constituents are 65 or older, he said, and known for their frugality. He speculated that his district has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the city, and his area of Milwaukee is believed to be one of the more affluent.

“I really do believe that a rising tide lifts all ships,” he said, “and you’ve got to lift it one block at a time.”

Here’s the breakdown, replicated in a map Brown provided, of where the city-owned residential and commercial properties are. Milwaukee is looking to create incentives for buying city-owned foreclosed commercial properties similar to ones available for people who buy city-owned homes.




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