As the Evicted exhibit attracts hundreds of visitors to the Mobile Design Box and continues to inspire city-wide conversations, the Near West Side Partners is challenged to provide answers as to how the organization is responding to this national crisis as so well articulated in Matthew Desmond’s book.
Here are 6 ways the Near West Side Partners is responding to evictions in the community:
1. Resident Tenant Leadership Committee
NWSP staff is working to empower renters in the Near West Side to tackle and develop strategies to improve and overcome the issues and challenges they find regarding their living conditions through regular trainings and meetings of the Resident Tenant Leadership Committee.
2. Near West Side Landlord Compact
The Near West Side Landlord Compact has meet monthly for the past 25 years. As one of the longest running landlord compacts, this meeting holds landlords accountable for improving living conditions while also acknowledging those who provide quality rental units.
3. Choice Neighborhood Initiative Grant
In September of 2018, NWSP and Marquette University were awarded a HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant. This grant allows NWSP staff to work with public housing residents and community partners, including the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, to create transformation plan to improve housing and commercial areas in the Near West Side.
4. NWSP Resident Survey
Since 2015, NWSP has conducted an annual survey of all Near West Side residents. As a neighborhood with a dense population of rental units, these surveys give insight into the concerns of Near West Side renters.
5. Community and Police Relations
NWSP works closely with the Milwaukee Police Department to increase neighborhood efficacy, and to empower residents to contribute to the success and quality of life of their neighborhood.
6. Community Prosecution Unit
Working closely with District Attorney, NWSP seeks to develop strategies to support Near West Side renters and support safer and cleaner neighborhoods for residents in the community.
NWSP is working closely with several organizations to develop additional strategies and is looking forward to developing an educational campaign to educate Near West Side landlords this year.