Barrett says city sold 175 foreclosed homes in 2014, halfway to goal

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by Matt Doyle

MILWAUKEE -- The house at 31st and St. Paul in Milwaukee is the 175th sold by the city this year.  Exactly halfway to a goal of 350 sales this year. 

The home - like many other tax foreclosures in the city - needs a lot of work.  Paint is peeling off.  The roof needs some help. The front steps are beat up.

However Liborio Perez Chavez signed the paperwork Wednesday morning at North Shore Bank for the home.  He bought it with help from the city.  He had some home buying coaching and got a $20,000 forgivable loan from the city for repairs. His mortgage is through North Shore Bank. 

Mayor Tom Barrett celebrates the occasion but was quick to point out there's still a lot of work to be done.  The city owns more than 1,000 homes now and there's more to come.

"We have several filings per year and they include several hundred," Barrett said.  "Again I don't want to be a landlord to these properties because what happens is the longer the city has them in our ownership the more likely it is you're going to have marauders or others from the neighborhood come in and strip the copper and take out other things."

Mr. Chavez didn't want to speak to reporters - although he did say he's excited to get the home and ready to fix whatever he needs to when he takes the keys.

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