For more in depth information about Housing Resources available in Milwaukee download the Housing Resource Guide here.
Home Improvement, Repair, and Maintenance
Agape $500 Matching Grant for Home Repairs
If you live within the Thurston Woods or Old North Neighborhoods (See Map) you may qualify for a reimbursable grant for up to $500 for home improvements. Work can be done on either the interior or exterior of your house. Work can include painting, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, handicap accessibility, and other small home repairs. Work cannot include major structural repairs such as roofs or foundations.
Click here for a step-by-step guide to the grant process.
To apply: Click here for an application and send it to Leah Schaffer at Agape Community Center.
Agape Community Center 6100 N 42nd St Milwaukee, WI 53209
Phone: (414) 465-5804
Old North Target Investment Neighborhood (TIN)
Residents living in the Old North TIN (see map) may qualify for a $30,000 partially-forgivable loan for home improvements from the City of Milwaukee Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation.The Home Rehabilitation Loan Program provides zero-interest loans to income eligible owner-occupants for home rehabilitation projects.
Up to $15,000 is forgiven after five years provided that it is equally matched with a 0% interest payback or deferred payment loan. Applicants’ total gross household income bust be at or less than 80% of the Milwaukee County Median Income to qualify.
For landlords, NIDC also offers a rental rehabilitation loan program that offers a $14,999 forgivable loan per unit.
For more information visit the NIDC website. To apply contact Karen Mierow at 414-465-5804 or email@example.com.
STRONG Neighborhoods Homes Loan Program
The STRONG Homes Loan Program offers loans from $1,000-$20,000 with interest rates ranging from 0%-3% for owner occupants of 1-4 family properties throughout the City of Milwaukee.
These loans can be used to pay for emergency and essential repairs. Technical assistance will be provided to homeowners under the program to assist with rehabilitation projects. Visit the STRONG Homes Loan Program website for complete details.
Eligibility: Visit the website below for more information about income guidelines.
To apply: Click here for an application
Phone: (414) 286-5608
Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee
Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee is a national volunteer program that works with communities to rehabilitate single family homes or jointly owned duplexes of low-income homeowners. Repairs that are related to safety, independence, and security have the highest priority. All repairs will be completed free of charge.
RTGM works on three broad categories of home repair projects:
• Emergency Repairs which address threats to health, life, safety, and housing such as serious plumbing, nonfunctioning furnaces and water heaters, broken windows, and electric and other fire hazards.
• Accessibility Modifications with the goal to increase home accessibility. Installations include grab bars, handrails on staircases, levered handles on doors and sinks, widened doorways to accommodate for wheelchair egress.
• Essential Repairs are seen as less urgent but are essential for homeowners to remain in their homes. Installations include gutters, siding, updated electrical systems, minor roof or chimney repairs, and installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Eligibility: Homeowners applying for services provided by RTGM must be a person of age 60 years or older, a persons with disabilities, or (decided on a case-to-case basis) families with children. The homeowner must have resided in her/his home for the last five years, be current on property taxes or property tax installment plan, and not be held in a trust or a life estate property.
To apply: Apply Online, or call RTGM to inquire about eligibility. Following the phone call, an application will be sent to the homeowner’s residence. If a church, synagogue, or community organization wishes to submit an application on behalf of someone the same process should be followed.
Phone: (414) 312-7531
Application hotline: (414) 319-9828
Apply Online: http://www.rtmilwaukee.org/Section/Apply_Online/index.html
Neighborhood Improvement Program
The Neighborhood Improvement Program assists eligible owner-occupants in repairing their homes. All repairs are based on municipal building code violations, lead hazard reduction, and health/safety concerns. NIP is not a remodeling program. Homeowners may only participate once.
Loan Terms: A portion of the work performed (maintenance work, lead work) is done as a forgivable loan secured by a covenant document. (I.e. - the cost of maintenance work is forgiven after five years for single family properties, and owner-occupied duplex costs are forgiven after the Period of Affordability requirements have been met). Mechanical work (electrical, plumbing, heating, masonry) is done as a zero percent interest Deferred Payment Loan secured by a mortgage. The cost of mechanical work must be repaid to the City when the homeowner sells her/his property or ceases to be the owner-occupant.
• Must be the owner-occupant of an single family or duplex
• Must have owned and occupied the subject property for a minimum of five years
• Must have a household income at or below 50% of the County median (as determined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development )
• Must reside within one of the 18 Neighborhood Strategic Planning (NSP) areas for the City of Milwaukee (the Community Development Block Grant area) – see map
• Must be current on all property taxes, mortgage and utility payments
• Must have current homeowners insurance
• Cannot have received prior NIP (or Home Rehabilitation) assistance from the City of Milwaukee
Brian Kaufman, NIP Manager
Phone: (414) 286-3868
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Mortgage Help and Foreclosure Prevention
Housing Resources, Inc.
HRI is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people purchase their own homes. They also provide assistance to help current homeowners remain in their homes.
Foreclosure Prevention Counseling
If you are facing foreclosure, Housing Resources, Inc. recommends you call the Homeownership Preservation Foundation hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE to speak to a foreclosure prevention specialist. HRI also offers their own counseling, both over the phone and face-to-face. To speak to an HRI counselor, first call the HOPE hotline number above and then ask to be referred to Housing Resources, Inc. for counseling. Click the link below for more details.
Post Purchase Education
In addition to foreclosure prevention counseling, HRI also offers workshops on protecting your investment in your home on topics such as income tax preparation, financial management, home maintenance, insurance and home safety, refinancing, and understanding your escrow account. Click the link below for more information, or call HRI at (414) 461-6330.
Select Milwaukee assists people seeking to maintain homeownership. Bilingual services are offered.
Click the links below to learn more about the services Select Milwaukee offers to homebuyers looking to avoid foreclosure:
•Refinancing Your Home
•Meeting with a Homeownership Preservation Intake Specialist
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (414) 562-5070
Fax: (414) 562-5072
GreenPath Debt Solutions
GreenPath Debt Solutions offers free debt counseling services over the phone and in-person. Their website offers free educational resources and information regarding credit & loans, managing money, savings & investments, consumer rights, bankruptcy, college, and much more. The site also includes tools to calculate mortgage costs, budgets, or savings options.
Call their HUD-Approved counselors to schedule an appointment or check out the housing counseling section of their website to learn more about mortgage default and delinquency, first-time homebuying, reverse mortgages, and home equity loans.
Phone: (800) 550-1961
Take Root Milwaukee
Take Root Milwaukee connects homeowners to free and confidential housing counselors who will provide you with information that can help you stay in your home. Take Root encourages you to call their hotline if you are in any of the following situations:
•If you have not yet missed a mortgage payment but are concerned that you may miss future payments.
•If you are already behind on the payments.
•If you have received a notice of foreclosure.
•If you are having trouble communicating with your mortgage lender.
Hotline: (414) 921-4149
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Energy Costs and Savings
Social Development Commission: Energy Assistance Program
This program offers regular energy assistance to help with your annual home energy costs, crisis assistance (including retention of utility services, reconnections, oil deliveries and furnace repair or replacement), referrals for other heating related services.
To apply: Daytime visits are on a first come, first served basis. Evening appointments can be scheduled on SDC’s website.
Phone: (414) 906-2700
Fax: (414) 906-2719
Program Fact Sheet: http://www.cr-sdc.org/DefaultFilePile/Programs/Program-Fact-Sheets/ProgramFactSheet_Energy_-Publi.pdf
Social Development Commission: Weatherization Program
The program provides weatherization improvements to tenants and homeowners, including insulation, installation of energy efficient lighting, furnace repair and replacement and testing and replacing refrigerators.
To apply: Myust apply to SDC for Energy Assistance before applying to program.
Phone: (414) 906-2700
Fax: (414) 906-2719
Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy's Assisted Home Performance Program allows income eligible homeowners to schedule a free energy assessment. A specialist will assess your home and provide recommendations to save you money on your utility bills. The specialist will also immediately install free energy saving products that will help you save energy and money on your annual utility bill.
Go to Focus on Energy's website (below) to learn about some of Focus on Energy's other programs that can also help you save on your energy bill.
Eligibility: To be eligible for the Focus programs and incentives, customers must purchase natural gas or electricity from a participating utility.
Home Energy Plus Information Center: (866) 432-8947
For more information or to find a local consultant: (800) 762-7077
Milwaukee Energy Efficiency
Me² (“Me Two”) offers Cash-Back Rewards and financing options that make home energy improvements affordable. In addition, Me² provides a no cost Energy Advocate to provide step-by-step assistance and ensure that the homeowner can maximize the financial incentives available. Consultants visit homes to identify opportunities to save energy and money. Financial benefits include a loan program, a grant for eligible health and safety issues, deals on Energy Star appliances, and potential tax credits. Sign up to schedule your free home visit by going to their website below.
Phone: (877) 399-1203
Milwaukee Shines works to support solar energy implementation by increasing solar education, providing connections to economic resources to invest in it, and improving the process and procedures to install it. Milwaukee has launched a citywide approach to promoting the adoption of solar energy, both for electric and hot water systems. A partnership between Milwaukee Shines and Summit Credit Union offers low interest solar loans for Milwaukee homeowners.
Amy Heart, Solar Program Manager
Phone: (414) 286-5593
Solar Loans Website: http://city.milwaukee.gov/SolarLoans
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Buying a Home
STRONG Neighborhoods Homebuyer Assistance Program
The Homebuyer Assistance Program provides funding to help prospective homeowners rehabilitate foreclosed homes they will occupy as their primary residence. Both financial and technical assistance are provided as part of the program.The program is being administered by the City's Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC).
Fully forgivable Homebuyer Assistance second mortgage loans of up to $20,000 are available to assist eligible homebuyers with the rehabilitation of City-owned foreclosed homes. Homebuyer Assistance is limited to no more than one half of the total cost of the purchase and rehabilitation of the property. The City is working with a number of lenders who can provide first mortgage loans to eligible potential homebuyers going through the program.
Phone: (414) 286-5610
Housing Resources, Inc.
Housing Resources, Inc. offers to assess, educate, refinance, or review the current financial situations of both homeowners and homebuyers to see if they are eligible for grant opportunities. Bilingual services are offered.
Eligibility: HRI’s homebuying or homeownership services are dependent on attending at least one workshop, or the equivalent of three classes (see Homebuyer Education below). Grant assistance is provided after you have met with a counselor and they have assessed your financial situation. Funding is available to anyone who meets income guidelines and has accepted an offer to purchase.
Phone: (414) 461-6330
Fax: (414) 461-6320
Provides monthly classes on budgeting for a new home, selecting the right property, becoming pre-approved, closing a deal, and the responsibilities that come along with being a homeowner. You can view and register for upcoming classes by clicking the class calendar link below.
Class Calendar: http://www.hri-wi.org/class_calendar.php
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority offers flexible mortgage loans with unique financing options. WHEDA homeowners are qualified to pay their mortgage online or over the phone, and have access to programs like the WHEDA Home Improvement Advantage and WHEDA Job Loss Mortgage Protection.
Eligibility: To qualify for any of the benefits provided in this section, your first home must have been purchased in cooperation with WHEDA.
Phone: (414) 227-4039
Fax: (414) 227-4704
Toll Free: 1-800-628-4833
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Community Advocates' Housing Department provides information and resources for tenants who are behind their rent, having trouble paying a security deposit, having issues with their landlord, and more. Click the link below for more information.
Housing Department: (414) 449-4777
Tenant Resource Center
The Tenant Resource Center is a webpage dedicated to promoting positive relationships between landlords and tenants in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Toll Free Number: 1-877-238-7368
Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
The Legal Aid Society is a public interest law firm that offers free legal services to people with low income. Their Civil Division conducts programs that combat predatory lending practices, provide legal assistance to those with tax problems, and more. The Civil Division has walk-in hours from 1:30-3:30 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays. Call for more information or click the link below.
Address: 521 N. 8th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Phone: (414) 727-5300
Fax: (414) 291-5488
Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council
Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council’s purpose is to promote fair housing throughout the state of Wisconsin by combating illegal housing discrimination and by creating and maintaining integrated racial and economic housing patterns. The MMFHC will examine cases that resemble discrimination, predatory lending practices, and foreclosure rescue scams. Click the link below for a description of their programs.
Phone: (414) 278-1240
Fax: (414) 278-8033
Predatory Lending Hotline: (414) 278-9190
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City of Milwaukee Landlord Training Program
The award winning landlord training program, provided by the city's Department of Neighborhood Services, is meant to teach landlords fundamental ways to keep illegal activity out of their property.
The classes are free and held on a regular basis through out the year at various locations. They are held on evenings and weekends to accommodate virtually anyone's schedule. The classes are generally either one five-hour session in one day or two two-and-a-half-hour sessions for two nights. Attendees get a free 100 page comprehensive manual and handouts on a variety of legal and business issues related to managing a property.
Click here for a schedule of classes in 2015
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