Making Change in Milwaukee!
If you aren’t familiar with ACTS, it is a great local nonprofit that connects homes that need fixing with folks that need homes. This is their mission statement:
ACTS serves diverse families throughout Milwaukee’s inner city. Most home owners purchase formerly vacant, vandalized foreclosures.Usually rehab costs are less than demolition and new owners save hundreds on their monthly housing costs.
ACTS was born as the neighborhood around St. Michael’s Church was ravaged by crime and disinvestment in housing. This activity generated many vacant homes that were deemed useless by the City and the private market. Through a unique partnership with the City of Milwaukee, ACTS introduced local residents in the neighborhood to these vacant homes, showed each family how to buy and rehab them, convinced local banks that they would be excellent customers for their best mortgage programs, and then stepped back and witnessed the rebirth of a neighborhood.
Now, an incorporated lending program, more than 7,600 individuals, the majority of them children, live in homes purchased through the ACTS Program. Children living in owner occupied homes perform better in school. Neighborhoods where families are homeowners form more stable communities.
We had the joy of meeting their team and going on a tour. We got to see a home before that was going to get fixed up. Then we were treated to see a single mother that bought and fixed up a house. Finally we went back to ACTS office and discussed housing and home ownership.