Tax Credits Awards Advance HACM-Related Projects
Soldiers Home and Westlawn Renaissance projects increase and improve housing options for Milwaukeeans
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) awards announced May 16, 2017 by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) to Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM)-related projects will increase and improve housing options for Milwaukeeans in two vital areas of the city: the historic Soldiers Home district and the Westlawn neighborhood on the city’s northwest side.
The two awards were included in 26 statewide awards announced by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston at the site of the National Soldiers Home Residences on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
Just under $1.4 million in LIHTC were awarded to The Alexander Company to renovate the “Old Main” Building into 72 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom apartment units for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. A partnership between The Alexander Company and HACM was selected in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to restore the National Soldiers Home Residences to the service of veterans. Once the renovations are complete, HACM will manage the housing, and supportive services will be provided by the Center for Veterans Issues, Inc.
“We are thankful to WHEDA for supporting the revitalization of the Soldiers Home. These nationally significant buildings deserve to be preserved and put back into the service of our community’s veterans,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.
WHEDA also awarded HACM just over $1 million in LIHTC for Westlawn Renaissance III, which will support a new stage of redevelopment at the Westlawn public housing development. The project will build two three-story apartment buildings with a total of 94 apartment units at 66th Street and W. Silver Spring Drive. The development will have 53 one-bedroom apartments and 41 two-bedroom apartments, and each building will have approximately 3,300 square feet of commercial space. Seventy-nine apartments will be reserved for individuals with income at or below 60% of the Milwaukee County Area Median Income (AMI) level, and 15 apartments will be at market rents.
HACM is leading a multi-year effort to redevelop the Westlawn public housing community into a mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood. The first stage was completed in 2012, and work is advancing on the second stage involving the replacement of 394 public housing units with just over 700 units of affordable and market-rate rentals and market-rate homeownership units.
“WHEDA continues to be an integral partner in our efforts to preserve affordable housing within the context of a new mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood at Westlawn Gardens,” said HACM Secretary-Executive Director Tony Pérez. “We are thankful for their assistance in achieving the vision of a neighborhood for all.”
“These critical tax credits are instrumental in building strong neighborhoods through the effective combination of affordable housing and economic development,” said Lt. Governor Kleefisch.
“I’m gratified at the ongoing devotion and commitment of Wisconsin’s development community to provide safe, quality housing options,” said WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston. “The tax credit program is one of the state’s most successful and effective public-private partnerships.”
Photos from the announcement on the grounds of the Soldiers Home: