Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Harambee project, 38 lots for $1 each

The Milwaukee Common Council and Habitat for Humanity locked down a deal for an affordable housing program Tuesday, Oct. 31 – 38 lots for $38.

The Common Council's approval means empty lots will soon be filled with new homes for single families in the city's Harambee neighborhood. The hope is it will not only provide affordable homeownership opportunities, but impact the community as a whole.

"We were able to acquire these lots for just a dollar a piece," said Jake Brandt with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. "It can really transform an entire block."

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Brandt called the effort a "win-win." Instead of taxpayers spending a thousand dollars each year to maintain an empty lot, the investment in an owned and occupied propriety will drive tax revenue in the community.

Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity has had a longstanding partnership with the city that allows the nonprofit organization to buy open lots for cheap and build affordable housing for new homeowners.

Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity

"One in three Milwaukee renters are spending half or more of their income just on a place to rent," Brandt said. "It makes it nearly impossible to save for things like a down payment on a home. It takes the opportunity of homeownership and the investment of homeownership out of reach for some folks."

To own a Habitat home, prospective owners need little to no down payment – just time to put in the effort to help build it.

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"It’s really a unique opportunity to get to know your community and your neighbors before you even move in," said Brandt.

Construction on the new Harambee homes will begin in 2024. If you’d like to see if you’re eligible to own one of the homes, visit Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity's website.