Common Ground leaders gathered at an Open House for three recently completed Milwaukee Rising homes. Milwaukee Rising is a Common Ground housing revitalization initiative that is providing creative solutions to the housing crisis.
These three homes represent the continued efforts of the Common Ground leaders in the Sherman Park neighborhood to reclaim and strengthen their community. These homes were rehabilitated under the new Milwaukee Rising model, created when Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding was no longer available.
“Some organizations stopped rehabbing when the NSP ran out. Not us. We got to work on creating a new way to keep getting abandoned houses rehabbed and sold so we can continue to make positive change in our neighborhood!” said Frank Finch III, treasurer of Milwaukee Rising LLC and long-time Sherman Park resident. Milwaukee NSP funds have been fully utilized and in order to continue our goal of rehabilitating 100 foreclosed properties over four years, Common Ground established a subsidiary organization the Milwaukee Rising LLC to accept donations of properties, and to acquire strategically located properties in Sherman Park.
In attendance alongside Common Ground leaders were Common Council President Michael Murphy, Alderman Russell Stamper, and representatives of Bank of America.
“Common Ground continues to be an uncommon organization. When a problem presents itself, Common Ground does more than talk about the issue, they take action. By working together and finding creative solutions to our community’s problems, Milwaukee Rising, a Common Ground housing revitalization initiative, has rehabilitated three homes in the Sherman Park Neighborhood that were serving as a blighted influence in our community. I’m grateful to all Common Ground members who make a difference one house at a time in making our neighborhoods a better place,” stated Common Council President Michael Murphy.
All three properties were donated due to the relationships Common Ground has built with Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The properties were transformed into beautiful homes through the rehabilitation of JAM Community Builders, a local developer that works with local contractors. To date, Milwaukee Rising has rehabbed and sold 29 properties, with a total of 52 under development. Randy Jones is one of the proud owners of a Milwaukee Rising home. “I love my Milwaukee Rising home! I must have looked at 100 homes before I found this one. It was affordable, great quality, close to work and I grew up in this neighborhood,” said Jones.
To continue strengthening the housing market in the neighborhood, Common Ground is raising $5 million in no interest/low interest revolving loans funds, which will be used to acquire properties in need of rehabilitation for the Milwaukee Rising Project.
As a part of Common Ground, Milwaukee Rising, is working in partnership with significant governmental, religious and civic organizations to restore the housing market in the Sherman Park community.