Calling all developers -- Milwaukee plans to rehab 150 homes

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's Department of City Development plans to renovate at least 150 vacant city-owned residential properties and sell them at affordable prices.

CBS 58 spoke with Lafayette Crump, Commissioner of the DCD, who put out a call to all local developers and contractors. "The response is due June 3... and we expect to be awarding within a month or so after that", he said.

The plan calls for the city to sell one or many vacant homes to contractors for a nominal cost, up to $500.

The city will also pay these developers subsidies to cover renovation materials and labor, which will allow the developers to make money, but also sell the fixed-up homes at an affordable price.

"Up to $70 thousand in subsidies per property are available," he said. "There's also a workforce subsidy involved, up to $5,000 thousand dollars, if folks are using local workforce on this."

Last year, city leaders approved $15 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay for the project. The focus will be on renovating homes that are too blighted for average buyers to rehabilitate and returning them to new homes for families to use.

"We have a goal of 70-percent of these properties being owner-occupied, so no flipping," Crump said.

Michael Gosman, President and CEO of Acts Housing says the 150 houses are welcome news, because the current market is forcing out low-to-moderate income buyers

"We have families who are putting in offers, really competitive offers, but they are not winning because investors are coming in with the cash offer," he said.

Proposals are due June 3, 2022, by 11:00 a.m. CST

The City will hold a virtual informational meeting on the Request for Proposalson Thursday May 12, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Interested people are encouraged to attend. The meeting will include an overview of the initiative and provide an opportunity to ask questions. The Zoom meeting link is here.

Read the entire Request for Proposal from the city here.

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