Watch the video above to see part of the celebration!
Happy 2022 Build Season!
Last week, we officially kicked off our 37th year building in Milwaukee! Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Dan Bader, CEO of Bader Philanthropies, Inc., State Representative Kalan Haywood, Alderwoman Milele Coggs, future Habitat homeowner Channel, and volunteers from Milwaukee Tool and MGIC were on hand to begin construction on the first of Milwaukee Habitat’s 2022 new, affordable homes.
To celebrate Mayor Johnson joined speakers, volunteers, and Channel in raising the first wall of Harambee’s newest home. Through Milwaukee Habitat’s affordable homeownership program this home, and other Habitat homes in the neighborhood, are being sold to local families in need of affordable housing. The average monthly mortgage payment for a Habitat home is $600-$800 per month.
“Homeownership brings stability, it brings pride, it brings a sense of accomplishment for families in our community,” said Mayor Johnson. “We need more owner-occupied homes in our neighborhoods.”
Milwaukee Habitat’s program provides an alternative to the skyrocketing cost of housing in the city. While the average cost to rent in Milwaukee is more than $900 per month, the average cost to own is more than $1600 per month. Due to this high cost of housing, the majority of Milwaukee Habitat homeowners spend less on their mortgage for a brand new Habitat home than they had been paying to rent.
“As we stand here, surrounded by a lot of lumber, it may appear at first that we’re going to be building some homes. But that’s not actually true. What we’re going to be doing is building dreams,” said Brian Sonderman, Executive Director of Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. “These walls represent so much more than lumber, they represent dreams of stability. Dreams of generational wealth. Dreams of a place that you can call your own.”
Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers. Home maintenance and financial education courses are also included as part of the program to help first-time buyers transition from renting to ownership.
Future Habitat homeowner Channel, was on site to raise the walls of her new home. Channel believes in the power of homeownership and is thrilled about building a home that her kids and grandkids can someday call their own. She is grateful for Milwaukee Habitat and knows the benefit the organization brings to the community.
“Milwaukee Habitat actually holds your hand throughout the whole process. They guide you through everything and make sure you are prepared,” Channel said. “I really feel like our community needs this because there’s a lot of people in our community that do not have these resources. They are scared because they do not know what to do. For Habitat for Humanity to take the lead and say,‘We’re right here, all the way through, it’s a relief. It’s a huge help.’ ”