$19M investment to increase affordable housing supply and access in Milwaukee County

NOW: $19M investment to increase affordable housing supply and access in Milwaukee County

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) --- Milwaukee County is investing $19 million of federal funding to increase affordable housing and homeownership.

Monday, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley signed legislation making those efforts official.

"We are announcing $15 million for affordable housing, $3 million for foreclosure rehabilitation and $1 million for energy assistance," said Shawn Rolland, District 6 County Supervisor.

The money is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act.

"This really builds on the work we've already done to invest in housing at the county level," said Crowley.

The bill signing was held in front of a recently foreclosed home in Wauwatosa that will be eligible for a full rehab with the new funds.

Part of the goal is to increase and maintain affordable housing access, especially in suburban areas.

"Wauwatosa is not just a city of wealthy homes but occasionally has a problem of upkeep...certainly has a problem of affordability," said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride

"It's not just about having access to these homes within the city of Milwaukee. We want people to have access to our suburban communities as well. We can't concentrate people who need affordable housing only in the city of Milwaukee. we need to make sure we're spreading the love," said Crowley.

The goal of this housing initiative is also to increase access to homeownership for underserved communities that historically face barriers when attempting to purchase a home.

"Looking at the market rate, trying to buy a home for many people it's out of their price point. When you don't have access to the same amount of loans through the bank or historically you won't get those loans, or haven't been getting those loans, it creates barriers," Crowley said.

County officials say there's still much work to be done to increase and maintain affordable housing across the county, but this is a major step in the right direction.

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