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May 8, 2024

County Executive Crowley Announces Proposal to Finance First-Ever Affordable Housing Development in Franklin for Persons with Disabilities


FRANKLIN – Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have announced a proposal to provide $2.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the first-ever affordable housing development in the City of Franklin to be specifically aimed at supporting persons with disabilities.

The $37 million development, led by the nonprofit organization Communities of Crocus, will create a total of 50 housing units and a community hub for adults with autism and similar intellectual and developmental disabilities in the City of Franklin. Milwaukee County’s ARPA investment will support Phase I of the proposed project, which will include three community homes, each featuring four individual apartments. Construction will begin on the 12 housing units that are part of Phase 1 of the project in June 2024.

“Housing is a matter of public health, and housing security is a critical social determinant of health. Access to affordable housing remains a challenge in Milwaukee County and I am proud we are working with partners to expand access to safe, quality, and affordable housing in our community,” said County Executive Crowley. “This affordable housing development will be the first of its kind in the City of Franklin to support persons with disabilities. Together, we will continue battling the root causes of housing instability and unaffordability through innovative public-private partnerships, so we can create a healthier and safer community for all.”

“Affordable housing in Milwaukee County continues to be a challenge, especially in some of the southern suburban municipalities,” said Supervisor Steve F. Taylor, who represents the City of Franklin on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. “Bringing this development to Franklin is overdue and continues to show the County Board’s historic investment in our community.”

The Communities of Crocus project was submitted by the development team through an RFP process and was selected to receive ARPA funding. Communities of Crocus’s vision is to create inclusive, supportive living environments that empower individuals with disabilities to thrive and achieve their full potential.

“Communities of Crocus (COC) is extremely grateful for this gracious award from Milwaukee County,” said Amy Hansel, co-founder of Communities of Crocus. “This is such an incredible gift for COC and our vision of creating a supportive housing community for adults with autism and similar intellectual and developmental disabilities. But it's also a shining light for the many families who struggle with the challenge of taking care of their adult children who are either unable to live on their own, or simply cannot due to the lack of adequate, affordable and safe housing. The support from Milwaukee County sends such an incredible message to us, to our communities, and to others around the country that we're not just building a community; we're constructing bridges to independence, dignity, and belonging for these often marginalized yet incredibly unique adults.”

In 2021, Milwaukee County adopted the Collective Affordable Housing Plan in partnership with the Community Development Alliance (CDA). The COC project aligns with that effort and represents another step towards advancing Milwaukee County’s commitment to expanding affordable housing options and investing upstream to address root causes of health disparities.

“To create a healthy community, we need to ensure that residents have access to affordable housing. By investing in housing, we are investing in community health,” said Milwaukee County DHHS Executive Director Shakita LaGrant-McClain. “I commend Milwaukee County, our Housing Services team, and their work with Communities of Crocus for their dedication to developing innovative solutions that address root causes and advance our work and vision, ‘Together, creating healthy communities.’”

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors will consider the proposal in the weeks ahead. Learn more about the project HERE.

Drone footage of the development site is available for members of the media upon request.




(414) 278-4211 | fax: (414) 223-1375
Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 306
901 N. 9th Street | Milwaukee, WI 53233

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