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Home rentals prices are up in parts of the U.S. but not in Milwaukee

The cost to rent a home is sky rocketing in many parts of the country, but not in Milwaukee.

That's because so many homes in Milwaukee are in foreclosure.

George Young has lived at the corner of 17th and Locust for 17 years.

His home is located between a house that's boarded up, and one that's up for rent.

\"You're stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Young.

Nationwide, home rental properties have seen a price increase in the past year, but not here in the Brew City.

According to Dr. Mark Eppli at Marquette University's School of Business, it's because of the foreclosed homes in the inner city.

\"In hence we have a slight decrease in rental rates for single family housing here in Milwaukee,” said Dr. Eppli. “Relative to other markets where there's a 5 percent increase.\"

The zombie housing effect has also played a role in lower property values.

When the property goes into foreclosure, and the real estate taxes go into delay, the homeowner believes they no longer own the house and leave.

At that point, neither the city nor the lender can take action right away.

\"What happens after they leave, some of the vandals come in and stripe it of the valuable copper, the piping, and the electrical wire,” said Dr. Eppli. “Making that house go from maybe $50,000 to $75,000 after it's striped close to zero.\"

For George Young, leaving his neighborhood is not an option.

\"I got so much invested into my home,” said Young. “I would never get it back. But it's personal for me. I got a stake in this community and this neighborhood.\"

The city owns nearly 1200 residential properties, many of which have gone into foreclosure.

There is a home buyer assistance program in Milwaukee.

If you're someone looking to fix up a foreclosed or abandoned house and make it your primary home, the city is willing to help you out.

Since 2007, Milwaukee has lost 10% of its homeowners.

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