January 30, 2023
ICYMI: Milwaukee County’s Public-Private Partnership to Increase Affordable Housing Recognized Nationally
MILWAUKEE, WI – In case you missed it, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley joined award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien on the ABC Sunday Morning Public Affairs Show “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien” to discuss Milwaukee County allocating $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support Acts Housing’s Homeownership Acquisition Fund.
“At the end of the day we know that affordable housing is one of the greatest challenges that we have,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley told O’Brien during the discussion. “This is something that is near and dear to me because growing up I was evicted three times within a two-year span. So, I understand how instability can take a toll and the stress that comes with that.”
The funds were awarded to the Acts Homeownership Acquisition Fund by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in a December 15, 2022, vote, following a recommendation by the Milwaukee County ARPA Task Force. In one of his first actions of 2023, County Executive Crowley signed the bill allocating funding to Acts Housing earlier this month. In total, Milwaukee County has invested $24.7 million of its ARPA funding toward housing-related efforts.
Acts Housing’s goal is to acquire at least 100 properties this year and concert them into owner-occupied homes – with 80 percent of homeowners coming from communities of color. Instead of wealthy investors from Chicago or New York or Los Angeles buying up homes just to make a profit, the acquisition fund will help put Milwaukee’s housing stock back into the hands of Milwaukeeans.
Milwaukee County is experiencing an affordable housing crisis, and the increasing housing instability is taking a toll on individual health outcomes in different communities throughout the county. Milwaukee County’s vision is to achieve health and race equity by moving resources upstream to address critical social determinants of health. Housing stability is critical to that vision as it impacts dozens of quality-of-life measures including employment, early childhood development, stress levels, education, and health.
“When we mention affordable housing people assume we’re talking about the poorest of the poor, but we’re talking about the people who collect our garbage every day, we’re talking teachers, we’re talking about public health and public safety officials,” County Executive Crowley explained on the national public affairs program. “In order to help them compete with many of these private industries we know that we have to do go into the private market as well. You can’t do this work without collaboration and partnership. So, it’s extremely important that we continue to lock arms with our municipal leaders in finding ways to build more affordable housing.”
Watch the entire interview on Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien here.