Milwaukee Selects Developers to Rehab Vacant Homes

A record 66 developers applied to refurbish 150 vacant, city-owned homes.

1 minute read

September 14, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of homes with downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin in background

Henryk Sadura / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“Milwaukee’s $15 million proposal to renovate 150 vacant, city-owned homes is moving forward,” reports Jeramey Jannene in Urban Milwaukee. “The city will sell the houses for as little as $1, provide a development subsidy estimated at $75,000 based on the renovation cost estimates and grant a $5,000 workforce subsidy. After renovation, the properties may be sold to owner-occupants, rented out or placed into a rent-to-own program.”

The city selected 14 non-profit and for-profit operators from a record 66 applicants that responded to its Request for Proposals (RFP) to rehabilitate the homes. “The program is designed to create affordable housing, expand the city’s tax base and create jobs.” The plan was scaled down from a proposal to rehab all 700 city-owned homes. According to the article, “The program is focused on vacant houses. Tenants in a house at the time of foreclosure are allowed to continue living there with DCD assuming the role of landlord.”

The program prevents developers from ‘flipping’ properties to another owner (except an owner-occupant). “A deed restriction will require a sold property to be owner-occupied for five years and owners would be required to complete eight hours of home-buyer counseling through either Acts Housing, Housing Resources, Inc. or the United Community Center.”

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