November 30, 2023
Milwaukee County Awarded $1.8 Million in Federal Funding to Expand Affordable Housing Options for Residents and Families
MILWAUKEE – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $1.8 million in Housing Mobility-Related Services funding to Milwaukee County. These funds are designed to expand housing choices for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) families with children by increasing access to opportunity neighborhoods with high-performing schools, access to jobs, low crime rates, parks, and other amenities. Milwaukee County is one of seven communities to receive this federal funding in 2023.
“Housing is a matter of public health, and housing security is a critical social determinant of health. Our shared vision for Milwaukee County includes expanding equitable access to safe, quality, and affordable housing,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “Thank you to the Biden Administration and our partners in Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation for delivering this federal funding to Milwaukee County. Together, we are working to expand affordable housing options and ensure our residents and families can live in the neighborhood of their choice.”
The funds for housing mobility-related services will enable additional Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to administer housing mobility programs. This, in turn, will raise the number of HCV families with children living in neighborhoods characterized by low poverty levels.
“Every parent knows the value of providing a safe and secure place for their child to call home. Stability at home helps promote their future success – in school and onwards,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “As HUD works to expand affordable housing and ensure economic mobility is possible for all families, these Housing Mobility-Related Services awards will boost access to housing vouchers for families who need them the most.”
Richard J. Monocchio, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, made this grant announcement at the Bradley Crossing Supportive Housing Community in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. Earlier this year, County Executive Crowley approved funding to expand the affordable housing campus that is being spearheaded by Jewish Family Services.
“This award allows to continue our recent efforts to expand affordable housing options in our suburban communities. Housing is one of the main social determinates of health and when families have access to neighborhoods of their choice, children thrive in all aspects of their lives,” said James Mathy, Administrator, Milwaukee County Housing Services.
This program is based on HUD's Community Choice Demonstration program that builds upon recent research that shows growing up in neighborhoods with lower poverty levels improves children's academic achievement and long-term chances of success and reduces intergenerational poverty. Children who move to low-poverty neighborhoods have also been shown to experience lower rates of hospitalizations, lower hospital spending, and some changes in mental health over the long-term follow-up. Adults given the chance to move to low-poverty neighborhoods experience reductions in obesity and diabetes.
While the HCV program currently offers families with vouchers the opportunity to live in a neighborhood of their choice (including low-poverty, opportunity neighborhoods), families with HCVs may continue to encounter barriers to using their vouchers in communities with expanded opportunities. Common barriers include the inability to save enough money for a security deposit, inadequate time to find a unit, landlord unwillingness to rent to voucher holders, or limited awareness of neighborhood amenities, such as the location of high-performing schools.
The Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Services Program will support PHAs in addressing barriers to accessing housing choices by offering mobility-related services to increase the number of voucher families with children living in opportunity areas. In addition to offering mobility-related services, PHAs will work together in their regions to adopt administrative policies that further enable housing mobility, increase landlord participation, and reduce barriers for families to move across PHA jurisdictions through portability.
More information about Milwaukee County’s housing efforts is available HERE.