MILWAUKEE — A major effort to renovate up to 150 vacant homes in Milwaukee is officially underway.
Wednesday, city leaders gathered outside a home in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood that will be the first to be restored.
The Homes MKE program is designed to turn city-owned, tax foreclosed homes into affordable housing for Milwaukee residents.
Major renovations will take place, then the homes will be sold at affordable prices. The Lindsay Heights home, which was built in 1893 and needs major work, has been vacant for more than five years.
Milwaukee’s Commissioner of City Development Lafayette Crump said have the revitalized homes will make a big impact.
“We are strengthening neighborhoods, we are building the foundational pathways for generational wealth in our community and working to ensure that Milwaukeeans have access to the quality affordable, stable housing that they need,” Crump said.
The $15 million Homes MKE project is being funded through money the city received as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
In addition to creating affordable homes, the goal is to provide construction training opportunities. Ezekiel Hope is an organization that teaches construction job skills to those facing barriers to employment.
Apprentices from Ezekiel Hope will handle the electrical work on several properties while being trained to become electricians.
Darien King is an apprentice who will learn on the job while working to restore Homes MKE houses. King said he is glad the program benefits multiple people.
“That’s the best part about it,” King said. “People from the communities giving back to the communities.”
The Homes MKE initiative is just one of several home restoration projects taking place around Milwaukee County being funded through American Rescue Plan funding allocations.