The Issue: Housing Affordability
Families in Milwaukee and all across the United States are paying too high a price to cover the cost of their home. Rents and homeownership costs are skyrocketing, while wages are not keeping pace. Far too often, families struggle to make ends meet. At Habitat for Humanity, we know that a family should never have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on a home.
Transforming Neighborhoods, Transforming Lives: Rita's Story
Watch: Nearly 20 years ago, Rita and her husband Angel made the decision to build their own Habitat for Humanity home. Watch her heart-warming story about how safe, affordable home ownership changed their lives forever.
1 in 3 Milwaukee renters pay half or more of their income on housing
That means that 1 in 3 families are denied the personal and economic stability that safe, decent and affordable housing provides. Instead, 1 in 3 families are forced to make impossible choices.
Safe homes. Nutritious food on the table. Health care. Access to good schools. Reliable transportation. Which would you choose?
We know the complexities that surround the cost of home. Families have suffered from redlining, racial inequality and the housing disparities that follow. In the four-county metro Milwaukee area nearly three out of four Black families do not own the home they live in, while nearly three out of four white families do. We have to take a stand and declare our commitment: No family should have to pay more than half of their paycheck to cover the cost of home.
Through affordable home ownership and home repair Milwaukee Habitat is revitalizing neighborhoods on Milwaukee's northwest side. Together we will serve more families than ever before as we work to make the cost of home something we all can afford.
- Our plan: serve 250 families in this area through affordable homeownership and critical home repair
- Focusing our efforts in target neighborhoods reduces crime and increases property values.
- In Midtown we're building the highest concentration of affordable single-family homes built in Milwaukee since WWII.
By clustering new home construction in Washington Park from 2013-2018, crime is down 46% on the blocks where we built, while property values are up 25%.
In 2018, Milwaukee Habitat launched the most ambitious project in our 36 year history: Midtown 100. Midtown 100 is our plan to build, rehab and repair 100 homes in the Midtown neighborhood.
In 2021, Milwaukee Habitat expanded our new home construction to the Harambee neighborhood, while simultaneously building in Midtown and providing affordable home repairs throughout Milwaukee’s northwest side.
Even though Harambee has one of the lowest median household incomes in the city, median rents are more than $800 per month. Those prices are similar to areas around Humboldt Park in the Bay View neighborhood; where median income is nearly triple that of Harambee.