Milwaukee family wins a house for $3,500 in raffle

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Christmas came early for one Milwaukee family who is moving into their first house with a pricetag of only $3,500.

It's not your typical raffle prize, but after Elizabeth Vasquez heard her name read, she can now call herself a homeowner.

"Excited, super excited," said Vasquez.

The home is provided by ACTS Housing. The organization buys tax foreclosed houses from the city of Milwaukee to sell to low-income families at a reduced rate.

"There's so many families that are in need of housing and we do everything that we can to be able to get these properties from the city of Milwaukee and get them into housing," said ACTS Housing Specialist Hilaria Rios.

The winning family only has to pay $3,500, but they have to agree to live in the house for at least five years and undergo a credit check. With the foreclosed homes needing a lot of repair, ACTS Housing also helps the families get a rehab loan.

"It's so nice when you drive by or you get an invitation to come to the property and it's just a totally different house than what it is right now," said Rios.

Edward Synowicz, who has lived in this neighborhood for 30 years, is thrilled to see someone move in next door.

"It's going to be great to have somebody in this house and utilizing it rather than looking at it falling apart more and more each day," said Synowicz.

Vasquez says can't wait to move in with her boyfriend and two sons -- and even plans to host Christmas next year.

"Actually having our own home and creating traditions in our home," said Vasquez.

This year alone, ACTS Housing has raffled off other houses. For more information on how to participate in a future raffle CLICK HERE.