Neighborhood Revitalization

Since 2013, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity has focused our work in the Washington Park neighborhood as part of a holistic neighborhood revitalization strategy. We are working together with our partner families and other neighborhood organizations to execute a comprehensive sustainable community plan. Our goal is transform Washington Park into a safe, vibrant neighborhood of choice.

Why Neighborhood Revitalization?

Prior to 2013, Milwaukee Habitat has built or repaired homes in neighborhoods scattered across the city. Though the work was worthwhile, this strategy limited our ability to make a sustained and measurable impact in a neighborhood.

We are now taking the time to understand the neighborhood holistically. How does access to housing play a role in the much larger picture of community vitality? What is our role to play in the efforts already underway?  These questions guide our Neighborhood Revitalization strategy and allow us to develop partnerships that last longer than the construction season.

New Housing Solutions

New construction housing has been our chosen tool for building community in the past decade. This housing crisis changed this, as did the community’s needs. We are proud and excited to expand our services to help families with a wider array of housing needs.

In addition to new construction, Milwaukee Habitat now offers rehabilitation, critical repair, weatherization, preservation, and community development. We continue to partner with first-time homebuyers and we are developing partnerships with current homeowners to improve the existing housing stock.

At the same time, we recognize that not every family is ready for homeownership. In Washington Park, over 60% of residents rent their home. This means that area-landlords influence housing options more than Habitat or any other organization. We understand that responsible landlords can be an asset instead of a liability to our mission, and to this end, we are connecting landlords and tenants to resources that promote sustainable rental practices and increase neighborhood safety.

Increased Collaboration

A revitalized neighborhood requires more than just affordable housing. Education, job access, transportation, healthcare, residential networks and much more are all part of the equation. Our core mission remains the same, but we now strive to find ways our housing programs can work in concert with the efforts of other community organizations.

Some of our key partners include: Washington Park Partners, 3rd District Police Station, ACTS Housing, Housing Resources Inc, LISC Milwaukee, Safe & SoundUnited Methodist Children’s Services, Urban Ecology Center, Victory Garden Initiative.

Training & Support

Existing Habitat homeowners are grateful for the opportunity to live in quality, affordable new homes, but they share stories of deteriorating neighborhoods and unfulfilled dreams. Through staffing, volunteer efforts, and partnerships with key agencies, we are increasing our services to our partner families so they can receive quality training and support with an emphasis on financial education, home maintenance, and access to community resources.

A Vision For The Future

After working primarily in the Washington Park neighborhood since 2013 as part of a holistic neighborhood revitalization strategy, more than 215 families now have safe, affordable homes in the neighborhood and crime has decreased 48% on the blocks where we’ve built.
Together with your support, we can replicate those successes in an area of the city where the average family makes about $20,000 a year and the need for affordable housing is great.

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