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Notice of Application for NSP2 Funds—Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thank you for your interest in Habitat for Humanity’s NSP2 application. Please note that the opportunity for public comment has closed.

Learn more about Habitat’s work in your community.

A summary of the application follows. Additional information will be provided on these pages as it becomes available.

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Application for Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 funds—American Reinvestment & Recovery Act of 2009
Applicant: Habitat for Humanity International
Web Address: WWW.HABITAT.ORG
Web Address for Additional Information: WWW.MILWAUKEEHABITAT.ORG

Statement of intent
Habitat for Humanity International intends to make an application for Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 funds to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Awarded NSP2 funds will be used in activities that will rapidly arrest the decline of targeted neighborhood(s) that have been negatively affected by abandoned, foreclosed, and vacant properties. HFHI’s application will be national in scope, and will utilize the services and capacity of Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity to complete NSP2 activities within Milwaukee’s inner city.

All NSP2 funds will be used to benefit individuals whose income does not exceed 80% of Area Median Income. At least 25% of NSP2 funds will be used for purchase and redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed-upon homes and residential properties to house individuals and families whose incomes do not exceed 50% of area median income.

Amount of funds: NSP2 funds will be awarded through a national competition in which eligible applicants will compete for up to $1.93 billion. HFHI will seek funds nationally, of which $6 million is targeted for use within the target geography described below.

Target geography
Census tracts: 55079004400, 55079006300, 55079006400, 55079006500, 55079008600, 55079008700, 55079008800, 55079008900, 55079009000, 55079009100, 55079009600.

Habitat will work in the Amani, Washington Park and Harambee neighborhoods of Milwaukee’s inner city. The target areas have low rates of homeownership, have many houses boarded up, and have over 300 vacant lots due to past disinvestment, which have contributed to the rise in crime rates. Many of the residents are African-American single parents with children. Like many communities, Milwaukee and its residents have been hard hit by the current economic crisis. Milwaukee currently has an unemployment rate of 8.9%, with much higher rates (15% and higher) in the proposed target areas. Residents in these areas who are gainfully employed primarily work in the manufacturing and the service sector, which offer only low-paying jobs and have suffered greatly from the economic downturn. Proposed target areas have also suffered from high rates of subprime loans (75% of recent mortgages). During the housing boom, residents were targeted for predatory lending practices. Homeowners were often encouraged to refinance or take out second mortgages.

It will be critical to stabilize these neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Habitat, the City of Milwaukee, and a broad range of stakeholders have invested significantly in these neighborhoods and due to the recent economic crisis, these communities are at risk of losing the progress made. Habitat is the only provider of affordable housing for families at or below 50% AMI in the target areas. NSP 2 funds will be key resources to preventing further decline and supporting future growth in the target areas.

Use of funds
HFHI proposes to utilize the capacity and services of Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity to:

  • Acquire and redevelop demolished or vacant properties as housing (100 units).

The Washington Park target area suffers from an excessive number of vacant lots due to a declining economy that resulted in a host of discontinued construction projects. It has become a high crime, blighted area and threatens the stability of the surrounding target areas. Because of the work of Habitat and other community stakeholders, the Harambee and Amani target areas are close to becoming stabilized, but high rates of subprime loans and growing incidents of blight have threatened the progress made in the last few years. Habitat will construct 100 new homes on vacant lots. Habitat homes will be clustered to increase the strength of residents’ social networks and shared neighborhood pride.

Habitat has created extensive partnerships with the City of Milwaukee in each of the target areas, which the city have been targeted in its “Great Neighborhoods” initiative. The city will make lots available to purchase at deeply discounted rates. Habitat is an active member in neighborhood planning and steering groups – the Harambee Great Neighborhood Steering Committee and the Washington Park Partners. Habitat is also working with the Dominican Center for Women in the Amani Neighborhood to create a community planning group. Habitat has built 300 houses in surrounding neighborhoods. NSP 2 funds will be critical in stabilizing Washington Park and will prevent further destabilization in the Harambee and Amani target areas.

Public comment
Please note that the opportunity for public comment has closed.