New housing project in Milwaukee merges affordable homes and crisis units

NOW: New housing project in Milwaukee merges affordable homes and crisis units

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Since the pandemic, Milwaukee County has put more than $25 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward affordable housing.

Now more money will be supporting a unique project to help get people in homes.

The historic building at 2436 N. 50th Street will be converted into a 41-unit affordable housing complex, with 20 units dedicated to crisis housing for those in need.

County Executive David Crowley signed legislation Monday, approving $1 million of ARPA funding for the development.

"Today's action serves as our next step of ensuring more residents and more families, no matter what they're going through, have access to safe, quality, affordable housing," Crowley said.

The project in the city's Uptown neighborhood will be the first in the state of Wisconsin to merge crisis housing with permanent affordable housing.

"We want to be a model. We want folks to look at Milwaukee County to figure out ways they can tackle affordable housing in their communities as well," Crowley said.

The merger creates a system for those in need of housing outside of a shelter environment.

"These are individual rooms that individuals can kind of take a breath from the traumatic experiences they're going through, but then have immediate access to permanent housing," explained James Mathy, housing administrator for Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services.

A nonprofit organization will be chosen to help the county operate the crisis portion, primarily serving those in vulnerable situations.

"They may be individuals that our homeless outreach team sees. They may be individuals going through an awful domestic violence situation," Mathy said. "At the moment, we're not necessarily limiting criteria of who's coming in."

The crisis units and permanent housing will be in separate wings of the historic building, with shared green space.

"It's relatively close to services. It's in a neighborhood that a lot of the individuals we serve really enjoy being in," Mathy said.

KG Development Group is leading the project. They plan to start construction in June and complete the conversion by next spring.

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