© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Acts Housing launches homeowner acquisition fund to help low-income residents buy houses

The appraisals done for home sales are increasingly done remotely rather than in person.
Daniel Acker
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Housing prices have soared, new home buyers have increased, and the number of available houses have failed to increase at the same rate. Meanwhile, well-funded, corporate landlords can be difficult for families to compete with when buying a home.

Ask anyone who’s tried to buy a home in Milwaukee recently, and they’ll tell you: It’s not easy. Over the past couple of years, housing prices have soared, new home buyers have increased, and the number of available houses has failed to increase at the same rate. Most homes have multiple bidders, and many buyers are waiving inspections or placing cash offers.

That's not to mention the well-funded, corporate landlords who are also in the market for homes, making it difficult for families to compete in this housing market.

"There used to be a lot of properties on the market, but in the last ten years, we've seen this trend where well-capitalized investors are snapping up single-family homes that were really meant for home ownership, but they're turning them into rental properties," explains Dorothy York, the vice president of real estate for Acts Housing.

The Milwaukee-based organization offers a variety of services that help low-income and marginalized people buy homes. They offer home buyer literacy programs, financial counseling, and access to resources that can otherwise be difficult to navigate.

"The mission of Acts [Housing] is empowerment through home ownership. And we're focusing on those low to moderate-income individuals who've always been shut out of the home buying market," York says. "And without some assistance from an organization like Acts, a lot of them wouldn't be able to find that power within to go after becoming a homeowner."

Now, the organization is launching a homeowner acquisition fund. The hope is to buy at least 100 homes that they can sell back to local families.

"The way that we do that is to get between the investors and the homes and get out there in front of them and acquire these homes and bring them into our program and make them available to our families. That's the way that we're going to keep homeownership affordable to the population that we serve," York explains.

Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Related Content