Home Resource Guide
Table of Contents
I. Home Improvement, Repair, and Maintenance
II. Mortgage Help and Foreclosure Prevention
III. Energy Costs and Efficiency
IV. Buying a Home
V. Renter Resources
VI. Landlord Resources
VII. Legal Assistance
VIII. Improving Your Neighborhood
IX. Other Resources
Home Improvement, Repair, and Maintenance
•Homeowners' Emergency Loan Program
•Tool Loan Program
•Home Rehabilitation Loan Program
•Neighborhood Improvement Program
•Community First, Inc.
•Habitat for Humanity ReStore
•Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Homeowners’ Emergency Loan Program (HELP)
The Homeowners Emergency Loan Program offers loans to income eligible owneroccupants anywhere in the City of Milwaukee for emergencies that, if not corrected, would make the home uninhabitable. HELP is not for maintenance, code violations, or other work that is not a true emergency.
Loans can be used to:
• Repair or replace roofing / flashing if there is an active leak affecting habitable rooms
• Repair or replace a non-functioning furnace / boiler (“no heat”)
• Replace a non-functioning water heater
• Repair leaking water piping if there are active leaks into habitable rooms, or if sewer gas is entering the home
• Repair collapsed sewer laterals between house and street tap
• Repair leaking water laterals between house and stop box
• Repair serious electrical hazards
• Repair hazardous structural conditions
• Correct other conditions that are serious threats to health and safety
Loan Terms: $1,000-7,500 loans; maximum loan term of five years; $50 minimum monthly payment.
Interest rates: Three percent for households with up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). (See AMI charts on HELP brochure or website.) Six percent for households between 50 and 80 percent of the AMI.
Eligibility: The owner must be current with mortgage and City of Milwaukee property tax payments, the owner must be credit-worthy, and the work must fall into “eligible” emergency categories, listed below. See website for more details.
To apply: Click here to download an application, or pick one up at the NIDC offices. Include a $25 non-refundable fee and a bid or quote from a licensed contractor with the application.
Phone: (414) 286-5608
Housing Resources, Inc.: Tool Loan Program
The Tool Loan Program lends tools to homeowners in Milwaukee. A yearly membership costs $25 ($20 for those ages 62 and up). As a member, you have free access to a variety of hand and power tools at Tool Loan Centers (from screwdrivers, hammers and pipe wrenches to sanders, saws, ladders, wheel barrows and much more).
Eligibility: Participants must own a home in the city of Milwaukee.
Tool List: http://www.hri-wi.org/documents/info/ToolList.pdf
Tool Loan Center Locations: 2500 W. Capitol Dr. and 1407 W. Lincoln Ave.
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
Home Rehabilitation Loan Program
The Home Rehabilitation Loan Program provides zero-interest loans to income eligible owner-occupants for home rehabilitation projects. They also provide technical assistance such as inspecting problem areas and helping owners get bids from contractors. Participants must either live in a Targeted Investment Neighborhood or be age 62 or older.
Priorities of the program include:
• Exterior code-related repairs (i.e. - roofing, siding, porch repairs)
• Lead paint abatement, including replacement windows
• Energy conservation
• Plumbing, electrical, heating work
• Kitchen, bath, and other remodeling is possible
Eligibility: Building must be code compliant upon completion of project. Property must be located in the City of Milwaukee’s CDBG Target Area. Interest rates and terms are tied to income and family size – See website for details.
To apply: Click here for an application and send it to the NIDC offices; include proof of income, proof of insurance, and a photo of the house.
NIDC Mailing Address:
PO Box 511730
Milwaukee WI 53203-0291
Phone: (414) 286-5608
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
Community First, Inc.
Community First provides occupant owners in targeted neighborhoods access to forgivable loans, averaging $25,000, to complete substantial home repairs. Community First staff serves as the liaison between families, contractors and City of Milwaukee staff. Eligible repairs include: electrical systems, minor carpentry, plumbing, roofing, heating, gutters, major masonry, painting, tuckpointing, lead-based remediation, foundation stabilization.
Expert staff from Community First assist qualified homeowners in working with City of Milwaukee Neighborhood Improvement Program construction specialists to identify eligible repairs, develop scopes of work, obtain contractors and oversee the entire construction process. In addition, Community First provides referrals to other agencies to help increase the impact of repairs.
Eligibility: Qualified applicants are low and moderate income families who have lived in their home a minimum of five years. Applicants must live in a Neighborhood Improvement Program eligible neighborhood (click here for a map).
To Apply: Call Community First, Inc. for more information.
Address: 3940 W. Lisbon Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Phone: (414) 377-4481
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
The Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity ReStores carry overstocked, discounted, new and used building materials donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors and individuals. The stores are open to the public with all items sold at a fraction of the retail cost. Proceeds from everything sold at the ReStores are used to fund Habitat’s mission of building affordable homes for Milwaukee's low income families.
West Location: 3015 N. 114th St., Wauwatosa
East Location: 420 S. 1st St., Milwaukee
Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
The CLPPP (Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program) operates a program known as Primary Prevention. The Primary Prevention Program provides money to abate lead based paint hazards in windows for eligible property owners. Call the phone number below for more information.
Phone: (414) 225-5323
Mortgage Help and Foreclosure Prevention
•Making Home Affordable Program
•Federal Housing Administration Short Refinance Program
•Federal Housing Administration Second Lien Program
•Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program
•Home Affordable Modification Program
•Home Affordable Refinance Program
•Home Affordable Unemployment Program
•Principal Reduction Alternative
•Second Lien Modification Program
•Housing Resources, Inc. (Foreclosure Prevention Counseling and Post-Purchase Education)
•Metro-Milwaukee Foreclosure Mediation
•GreenPath Debt Solutions
•Take Root Milwaukee
Making Home Affordable Program (MHA)
The Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) is a federal program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Help is offered through multiple outlets, focusing on several categories (click each category to view a list of programs on the MHA webpage):
• Homeowners who are looking to lower their monthly mortgage payments
• Homeowners who are looking to lower the interest rates on their mortgage
• Homeowners who are currently unemployed
• Homeowners with a second mortgage
• Homeowners whose home value has fallen
• Homeowners who want to leave their home and avoid foreclosure
Several of the programs MHA offers are listed below. Click the link to each program's webpage to get more detailed information about what the program offers, who is eligible for the program, and how to apply.
Call an HUD Approved Housing Counselor: 888-995-HOPE (4673)
Federal Housing Administration Short Refinance Program
FHA Short Refinance is an option for homeowners whose mortgage exceeds the value of their home. If the lender agrees to refinance the home,the amount the homeowner owes on her/his first mortgage may be reduced.
Eligibility: To qualify, the mortgage must not be backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA or USDA. The house must be used as the applicants’ primary residence. The homeowner must be current on the mortgage, owe more than the house is worth, and the total debt cannot exceed 55 percent of his/her gross monthly income. Additionally, the homeowner must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
Federal Housing Administration Second Lien Program (FHA2LP)
FHA2LP is offered to homeowners who have a second mortgage. FHA2LP reduces or completely eliminates the second mortgage on the home.
Eligibility: The first mortgage servicer must agree to participate in, and the homeowner must qualify for, the FHA Short Refinance (see above). Additionally, the homeowner must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
Check online to see if a mortgage lender participates:
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
HAFA offers homeowners an alternative to foreclosing on their home by either completing a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. In either of these cases HAFA offers resources to help you through this process, including the following:
• Free advice from HUD-approved housing counselors and licensed real estate professionals.
• Unlike conventional short sales, a HAFA short sale completely releases you from your mortgage debt after selling the property. This means you will no longer be responsible for the amount that falls "short" of the amount you still owe. The deficiency is
guaranteed to be waived by the servicer.
• In a HAFA short sale, your mortgage company works with you to determine an acceptable sale price.
• HAFA has a less negative effect on your credit score than foreclosure or conventional short sales.
• When you close, HAFA may provide $3,000 in relocation assistance.
Eligibility: To qualify for this program the current mortgage must have begun prior to January 1, 2009. The homeowner must have lived in the home for the last 12 months, and must not have purchased a new home within the last 12 months. The first mortgage must be below $729,750. Additionally, the homeowner must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
HAMP offers struggling homeowners the option to lower their monthly mortgage payments.
Eligibility: This program is open to homeowners who received their mortgage before January 1, 2009. The homeowners can owe up to $729,750 on their home or a single unit rental property they own. Non-occupant owners must be delinquent on their mortgage payments to qualify; owner-occupants can either be delinquent or just in danger of falling behind on their payments. The homeowner must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
See HAMP's website for other eligibility guidelines, including guidelines for owners of 2-4 unit rental properties. Remember that these are guidelines and you need to contact your mortgage company to see if you are eligible for HAMP.
Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
If you're not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through HARP. The program is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage.
Eligibility: To qualify, the mortgage is required to have been guaranteed by Freddie Mac/ Fannie Mae before May 31, 2009. Homeowners must not have been 30 days late on their mortgage payment within the last twelve months. The mortgage’s current loan to value ratio must be greater than 80 percent. Check online to ensure that the second mortgage provider is a participating member.
Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)
If you are currently unemployed, UP may reduce your mortgage payments or suspend them altogether for 12 months or more.
Eligibility: You may be eligible for UP if you are unemployed and eligible for unemployment benefits, the mortgage is on your primary residence, you have not previously received HAMP modification, you obtained your mortgage before January 1st, 2009, and you owe up to $729,750 on your home.
Principal Reduction Alternative
PRA is offered to homeowners whose home has a value that is less than what they owe. It encourages mortgage servicers and investors to reduce the amount you owe on your home
Eligibility: To qualify for the PRA program, the homeowner’s mortgage payment must be more than 31 percent of the homeowner’s gross monthly income, the mortgage must have begun on or after January 1, 2009, and the homeowner must currently owe less than $729,750 on the first mortgage. Additionally, the homeowner must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
The 2MP program lowers payments on a second mortgage if the homeowner's first mortgage has been modified by HAMP.
Eligibility: The first lien mortgage must have been modified by HAMP and the second lien mortgage servicer must be a partner of 2MP. The homeowner must not have missed three consecutive HAMP payments. Additionally, the homeowner must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.
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.
Metro-Milwaukee Foreclosure Mediation
Metro-Milwaukee Foreclosure Mediation offers foreclosure mediation services to owner-occupants. The mediation session is an opportunity for the lender and the borrower to discuss ways to solve a foreclosure. Once the lender and borrower both agree to mediation, they will be given the opportunity to work out new loan terms, a short sale, or other solution that is mutually agreeable. Click the FAQ link below for more details and steps necessary.
Phone: (414) 939-8800
Fax: (414) 939-8803
FAQ Website: http://mediatewisconsin.com/homeowners/faqs/
To Apply: http://mediatewisconsin.com/homeowners/find-your-region/
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
Energy Costs and Efficiency
•Social Development Commission Energy Assistance Program
•Focus on Energy
•Milwaukee Energy Efficiency
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
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
Buying a Home
•Housing Resources, Inc.
•Downpayment Plus and Closing Cost Grants
•Roots: City Landscaping Incentive
•Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
•WHEDA Advantage Mortgage
•WHEDA FHA Advantage Mortgage
•Easy Close Advantage
•Movin' Out (Downpayment Loan and Purchase & Rehab Loan)
•Habitat for Humanity
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
HRI staff also offer one-on-one, personalized counseling sessions to help develop an action plan to homeownership.
Downpayment Plus and Closing Cost Grants
HRI can connect you to several grants to cover downpayments or closing costs on your home purchase. Click the link below for a list of grants, eligibility and other details.
ROOTS: (City) Landscaping Program Incentive
If you purchase a city tax deed property, ROOTS offers up to a $500 cash refund for landscaping projects, with priority going to front yard projects that enhance curb appeal. Landscaping includes flowers, sod, grass seed, bushes, fencing, and other miscellaneous projects. See website below for more information on the refund process.
Eligibility: Exclusively available to owner-occupants who purchase City tax deed properties, projects must be completed within six months of closing.
Phone: (414) 286-5738
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
WHEDA Advantage Mortgage
This program offers a low-cost 30 year fixed interest rate, down payment assistance, less cash-to-close, and the many other benefits a WHEDA mortgage has to offer such as job loss mortgage protection. Click the link below for eligibility information and other details.
WHEDA FHA Advantage Mortgage
The FHA Advantage provides a home buyer a mortgage similar to the WHEDA Advantage mortgage and allows for gifted funds to be used as a down payment. Click the link below for eligibility information and other details.
WHEDA Easy Close Advantage
This program allows home buyers who qualify for a WHEDA Advantage Mortgage to purchase their home sooner. By applying to this program the homebuyer receives a low-cost fixed interest rate for 10 years.
WHEDA FHLBC Advantage
Some who qualify for a WHEDA Mortgage may also be eligible for this low-cost financing program which can further reduce cash-to-close and monthly mortgage payments. Click the link below for more information.
Movin’ Out offers downpayment loans to potential homebuyers with disabilities.
Eligibility: The programs below are offered to people with permanent disabilities who would like to become independent homeowners.
Movin' Out AHP Downpayment Loan
The Movin' Out AHP Downpayment Loan is a forgivable, deferred, 0% interest secured loan that can be used for downpayment and closing cost assistance. There are no monthly payments, and the loan is forgiven if the buyer resides in the property for five years. Click the link below for more details and eligibility requirements.
Movin' Out AHP Purchase and Rehab Loan
This loan is similar to the AHP Downpayment Loan above, but a portion of the loan may also be used for rehabilitations to make the purchased property safe and accessible. To acquire this loan, Movin' Out must be involved before you submit an offer to purchase a property. Click the link below for more details and eligibility requirements.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity partners with low and moderate income families to build new, single family homes in the City of Milwaukee. Homes are sold to families with a 25 year, zero-percent interest mortgage. If you are looking to own a home and currently pay $475-$600 in rent, call or go to their website to learn more and see if you qualify.
Phone: (414) 255-3565
•Tenant Resource Center
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. Click the links in each section below to learn more.
Wisconsin Toll Free Number: 1-877-238-7368
Preparing to Rent an Apartment
This is a resource for anyone that is looking to rent an apartment. It details questions that renters should ask their potential landlords and provides local and state agencies that potential renters can call to find out more about the apartment building they are looking to rent.
This is a resource that details what a renter should know regarding which party, the tenant or the landlord, is responsible for maintaining what features of an apartment unit. This section also provides information on how to correspond with the landlord to request repairs.
Ending a Lease and Subletting
This is a resource that renters can use to find out how to re-rent their apartment or leave their lease early because of either a domestic dispute or active military duty. This section also provides information on how to find a proper sub-lessee in the event that the renter would want to return to the apartment.
This is a resource for renters looking to learn what can legally be deducted from a security deposit by the landlord. Other information found here is how renters can go about safeguarding their security deposit from damages they did not cause.
This is a resource for renters to learn more about the eviction process and learn about whether the landlord was in the right when serving an eviction notice.
This is a resource for renters who feel that the landlord has discriminated against the renter when she/he attempted to contact the landlord and rent a specific apartment.
Other Renter Resources
This is a resource for renters who need information on the following topics: roommates, pets, carpet cleaning, landlord entry, credit reports, minimum income requirements, and fair housing law.
•City of Milwaukee Landlord Training Program
•Vacant Building Registration Program
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 2013
Vacant Building Registration Program
The City’s new Vacant Building Registration (VBR) ordinance requires owners of residential and commercial property left vacant for 30 days or more to register the property with the Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) and take steps toward assuring that the property is secure, properly maintained, and does not create a hazard for the surrounding community. The cost to register is free for the initial filing and the initial six month period. If after six months the building continues to remain vacant, a follow-up inspection will be made and if vacant, a fee will be charged. Each subsequent six month period of vacancy will trigger an inspection and fee. The owner is responsible for all exterior, interior, and lot maintenance. Failure to properly maintain the vacant building could result in increased renewal fees. Nonexempt owners have 30 days from the date the building becomes vacant to file this form.
Phone: (414) 286-2268
•Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
•Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council
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
Improving Your Neighborhood
•Community Improvement Project Grants
•Abandoned Properties in Foreclosure
Community Improvement Projects (CIPs)
Community Improvement Projects offer matching $3,000 grants for sustainable projects that engage residents and physically improve a small geographic area (e.g. a neighborhood gathering space, a block, or a specific site).
To apply: If a group is interested in a CIP, call the NIDC Community Outreach Liaison (below) for an application. Do not start the project without NIDC approval.
If you are interested in applying for a Community Improvement Project grant in the Agape Service Area, please call Tanya at (414) 464-4440 x239 or Beth at (414) 464-4440 x240, for assistance with your application. You can also e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
NIDC Community Outreach Liaison Phone: (414) 286-5626
Abandoned Properties in Foreclosure Program
The Department of Neighborhood Services if a house in your neighborhood shows signs of abandonment and you see windows knocked out, doors kicked in, or other signs of forcible entry, call the Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) with the address. The DNS has established a process whereby parties with a mortgage lien interest in abandoned properties are required to register the properties within five days after the properties are found to be abandoned. It is the responsibility of the lender to comply with the requirements of the ordinance.
Phone: (414) 286-2268
•Center for Veterans Issues
•Urban Economic Development Association
During times of personal crisis or community disaster, the free, confidential helpline and online resource directory make it easy for residents to get connected to information and assistance. When someone calls 211 IMPACT, they will speak with a Community Resource Specialist - a professional trained to listen carefully to the caller’s needs, help assess their situation and connect them to an agency that will respond to their needs. Contact them for help with: Emergency Food, Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse, Health Care, Homelessness and Emergency ShelteFinancial Assistance, Family and Parenting Issues, Mental Health Care, Housing Concerns, and much more. You can browse the resources and programs listed in their online database by clicking here.
Toll Free: (866) 211-3380
Center for Veterans Issues
CVI’s transitional housing programs assist veterans who are ready to move beyond emergency shelter into a more independent living situation. CVI’s transitional programs allow veterans to further develop the stability, confidence and coping skills needed to sustain permanent housing. Intensive case management makes the system work.
Services provided to the residents include: Screening, security, transportation, health and mental health services, food and nutrition programs, individual and family crisis counseling, drug and alcohol counseling, job training and education, housing counseling, budgeting assistance, housecleaning, and tenant rights and responsibilities. They also provide some permanent housing opportunities.
All facilities require that residents maintain a sober and drug-free environment. Residents may stay for up to 24 months. During that time, the goal is to get the veteran ready for work and the move to permanent housing
Address: 3312 W. Wells St.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Phone: (414) 342-5000
Overview of Services: http://www.cvivet.org/our-services/
Housing Options: http://www.cvivet.org/servicetype/housing/
Urban Economic Development Association (of Wisconsin)
Urban Economic Development Association is a nonprofit membership association that builds capacity in the housing and economic development field through professional training, innovative solutions, policy advocacy, and collaboration.
Members can benefit from the following opportunities:
• Events/educational gatherings that highlight pressing policy and management needs for community development work.
• A free listserv for members to circulate job postings, policy alerts, invitations to regional and statewide training/policy workshops, and other communications to all UEDA members.
• One-on-one technical assistance, hour-long workshops, day-long events, and week-long courses.
• Collaborative “affinity groups” which are action-orientated, rich learning environments.
Phone: (414) 562-9904
Fax: (414) 562-9906