Group transforms foreclosed home, holds open house

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee's battle with foreclosed properties has been well documented in recent months, but for one group vowing to tackle the problem, Saturday, January 18th marked a milestone.

The Ezekiel Community Development Corporation has been buying up foreclosed homes with the goal of turning them into a place to raise a family, and selling them at lower prices. Their first completed home was shown this weekend.

"This is exactly, exactly what the city wants to do in neighborhoods just like this," said Mayor Tom Barrett, who stopped by to praise the work of the group.

The mission of Ezekiel members is not just to fix up foreclosed homes, but to hire and train people from the inner city, making sure minority contractors get their fair share of work -- and to build hope.

"The kids that look like us get to see professionals that look like them doing work, so they no longer have a dream of being a rapper or an athlete or a dope seller. They understand that now they can make a good living being an electrician, a plumber, a master carpenter," said Jim Galliard with Ezekiel Community Development Corp.

The group is hoping to fix up ten homes in 2014 but are working toward a lofty goal of 50 in 2015.

"We want it to be a collaborative with the whole city of Milwaukee because we got a dying city and I'm from Milwaukee. I don't want to see my city die," said Galliard.

Ezekiel Community Development Corp. is hoping to sell the first property for about $70,000 then use the profits to rehab another two homes.