Housing Trust Fund grants totaling $526,000 will help the homeless, promote accessible housing, create jobs and help with homeowner repairs.

The Common Council has approved the Milwaukee Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Advisory Board’s $526,000 in funding recommendations for six projects that will construct new housing for those in need, rehabilitate existing housing stock and convert historic buildings to adaptive reuse residential developments.

The projects will leverage an investment of more than $28.7 million in local construction and rehabilitation work over the next year, said Alderman Michael J. Murphy, chair of the HTF advisory board.

Since 2008, the Housing Trust Fund has awarded nearly $6 million dollars in grants, which in turned leveraged $103 million in projects that created or rehabbed 763 units of housing. Of those, Alderman Murphy said that 345 support veterans, the chronically homeless or those with mental illness, and 473 are accessible for people with mobility impairments.

“It’s really remarkable what we have been able to do with just a little up-front investment on the city’s part,” Alderman Murphy said. “For every dollar we have invested in the Housing Trust Fund, we have already seen a return of 17 dollars in projects to help those in need.”

Alderman Murphy said the six 2017 projects selected by the advisory board for funding will also create jobs and valuable opportunities for construction workers, carpenters and those in the trades. “When we ensure that the investments that we make in housing also create jobs for local tradespeople, we foster a win-win for the city—caring for those in need while creating the opportunities Milwaukeeans need to thrive.”

This year, a total of 12 proposals sought nearly $2 million in HTF funding. Of these requests, six were selected to receive funding. The awards were approved during the Common Council meeting on February 7. The 2017 HTF awards are:

  • $193,750 for Heartland Housing, Inc. to aid in the adaptive reuse of St. Anthony Hospital as a 60-unit apartment complex for vulnerable households, including persons who are chronically homeless or have behavioral health issues.
  • $100,000 for J. Jeffers & Company to construct 41 new units of affordable housing next to the Historic Garfield Avenue School campus in a development that will be known as “the Griot.”
  • $100,000 for Gorman & Company to acquire and rehabilitate 50 units of foreclosed duplexes and single-family homes at sites scattered throughout the city. Construction will include accessibility improvements, and the homes will provide quality, affordable rental housing to families in need.
  • $44,500 for Habitat for Humanity to rehab up to eight previously foreclosed properties located on streets with multiple other Habitat owners.
  • $67,962 for Revitalize Milwaukee to address necessary housing updates, repairs or accessibility modifications for up to six low-income, elderly homeowners.
  • $20,000 for the Sherman Park Community Association to replace deteriorating roofs and effect emergency repairs in the Sherman Park Neighborhood Improvement District, providing the required match for up to four low-income households.
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Lee Matz