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Take Root Milwaukee Supports First-Time Homebuyers Achieve Their Housing Dreams

Community members learn more about the home ownership process at the Take Root Housing Fair from April 2019.
Courtsey of Take Root Milwaukee
Community members learn more about the homeownership process at the Take Root Housing Fair from April 2019.

First-time home buying is difficult — there’s legal jargon, piles of paperwork and hoops to jump through when applying for a loan. But it can be even more difficult if English isn’t your native language.

Take Root Milwaukee wants to help bridge that gap. The organization provides multilingual resources and goes step-by-step with community members wanting to buy their first homes.

Johanna Jimenez is a program manager at Take Root Milwaukee, which is under the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin. She says, "Because of the language barrier, there seems to be a little bit of a trust issue. It’s important to us to get the word across."

In Wisconsin, the homeownership gap for people of color is wide. Jimenez says, "Communities of color don't always have access to the education, to the support, to the resources that can help them become financially stable, to be able to make their homeownership dreams come true."

She says Take Root Milwaukee's agencies have multilingual staff members who can help with any questions or doubts. The organization strives to support first-time homebuyers, finding funding to repair their homes and help people keep their homes.

Jimenez is bilingual in both Spanish and English and says, "I've been using this platform to reach out to my own community and other communities that are not native English speakers, to let them know that there are resources available."

Prior to the pandemic, Take Root Milwaukee held housing fairs in different neighborhoods with high populations of nonnative English speakers. Now, they've been relying on getting resources out throughsocial media and recorded webinars on their YouTube channel.

More information is available on Take Root Milwaukee's website and by contacting their housing hotline at 414-921-4149.

Mallory Cheng was a Lake Effect producer from 2021 to 2023.
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