We’re back with another edition of Good News Tues to spread a little joy from our Habitat family to yours. We’re all in this together. Here’s hoping this brings a little light to your day.
Overcoming Milwaukee’s Affordable Housing Crisis
Like all too many renters in Milwaukee, Rickcoya is fed up with the high cost of rent in this city. Right now, one in three Milwaukee renters are paying half or more of their income on housing. This figure is not isolated to neighborhoods with high average home values. In fact in Harambee, where Habitat is beginning construction in 2021, the median income is one of the lowest in the city. Yet, 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.
Rickcoya is paying a high cost of rent and on top of that their rental property has serious maintenance issues.
“Right now, in the winter, we have to keep our heat at 90 degrees just to keep the house warm,” she says. “It’s an old home and even though I’ve got covers over the windows, the house isn’t insulated.”
As a result her bills skyrocket. By becoming a Habitat homeowner, Rickcoya will be able to build equity in a brand new energy efficient home and actually save money compared to renting. The savings of which, she plans to put away for her family’s future.
Rickcoya has two young children, Janiyah and Johnny. She sees homeownership as an opportunity for them to live comfortably in a home they can truly call their own. They’ll be able to have their own rooms for the first time. It’s something that Rickcoya could relate to from her childhood.
When Rickcoya was in 5th grade, her mother Yvette, became a first time homebuyer with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. Rickcoya remembers being so excited to have her own room in their new home. Now, just blocks away, Rickcoya will follow in her mother’s footsteps by putting down roots in the Midtown neighborhood.
Coming full circle, Rickcoya recalls how her grandmother helped her mom build their childhood home. Now, Rickcoya’s mom will join her out on the build site as she takes the next step towards becoming a first-time homeown