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Milwaukee Rising

Common Ground is working to restore the housing market in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park community. What began as our ‘Faces of Foreclosure’ campaign – an effort targeting the five major banks owning a majority of neglected, foreclosed properties in our region – blossomed into our current ‘Milwaukee Rising’ campaign.This housing revitalization initiative is working toward rehabilitating 100 foreclosed properties over a four year period and selling them to responsible homeowners.

At present, homes are being renovated and made available for sale as they are completed. You can contact Common Ground’s Housing Organizer Kathleen Patron for more information.

Two additional initiatives have emerged from our Milwaukee Rising campaign:

The formation of 180 Properties Program in Milwaukee
180 Properties is a premier property services enterprise dedicated to community revitalization and the eradication of poverty by empowering individuals through the creation of sustainable jobs. The program hires local workers to clean up foreclosed properties throughout the city. This program is in place in other cities across the US. Common Ground’s efforts have brought the program to Milwaukee as well. More information can be found here.

Milwaukee Restores
Common Ground has put together a program for homeowners in the Sherman Park area to receive loans and grants to do minor repairs on their homes. Details can get found by contacting Kathleen Patron.

These complex and ambitious campaigns would not be possible without the cooperative efforts of following partners.

The Banks
To date Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo have committed $33.8 million dollars including donations, mortgage commitments and start-up money for the Clean Slate 180° Properties program.

The City of Milwaukee
The City of Milwaukee has committed to over $2M in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds for home rehabilitation costs.

The Sherman Park Neighborhood Association
The Sherman Park Community Association (SPCA) is working with our full time organizer on a wide variety of housing issues, triggering a ripple effect for rehabs throughout the community.

Zilber Ltd.
Zilber Ltd. serves as the developer and general contractor for these projects. Common Ground works closely with Zilber during the construction process, and together they have been soliciting participation by local minority contractors.

Other financial donors
The following generous contributors have have helped to raise an additional $485,000 through Housing Organizer Funding:

  • Helen Bader Foundation
  • St Catherine Catholic Parish
  • Congregation Beth Jehudah
  • Transformation City Church
  • Community Baptist Church
  • Wheaton Franciscan Health Care
  • Daughters of Charity
  • Unitarian Universalist Fund for a Just Society
  • Greater Milwaukee Foundation
  • Zilber Ltd.
  • Mt Calvary Lutheran