Near West Side Partners has worked with Take Root Milwaukee since 2017 to support homeownership in the Near West Side. Take Root is supported by the Urban Economic Development Association (UEDA) and brings together community organizations, realtors, financial institutions, and many others to focus on homeownership in our City.
UEDA has perfected the process of hosting a virtual housing resource fair with the support of community organizations. Near West Side hosted our virtual housing resource fair on Saturday, September 25th at 10 am with a registered attendance of 141 people and over 60 who actually joined.
Unique about this virtual approach of Take Root Milwaukee is working with the local community organizations, highlighting assets of the community like schools, and incorporating technology like Zoom for the presentation.
I had the opportunity to present on the Near West Side community and what are the great things that are happening in the seven historic communities. Several highlights being the Choice Neighborhood $1.3 million grant award focusing on housing and infrastructure and our recent Vliet Street Oasis, a fresh food option for the community. Anthony McHenry, CEO of Milwaukee Academy of Science (MAS) presented on the great attributes of the Near West Side school including being the only school that has graduated two Division 1 athletes.
Sam Overton of Housing Resources highlighted the pros and cons of homeownership and the resources available for those who are interested in making the move from being a renter to a homeowner.
City of Milwaukee’s Benjamin Sanchez of the Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation presented on how the City of Milwaukee can support not just homeowners but also investors and existing homeowners. Benjamin highlighted the following City of Milwaukee programs:
- Strong Neighborhoods Plan
- City Houses For Sale
- Homebuyer Assistance Program
- Community Improvement Projects
Tamara Castle of Associated Bank provided resources for a first time successful homebuying experience. Including processes on preapproval, credit scores, and many aspects of homebuying on the financial side. Mary Leach-Sumlin highlighted the process and resources needed in buying a home.
Included in the Virtual Housing Resources Fair was a raffle giving away several gift cards.