Residents press Milwaukee mayoral candidates on housing considerations | WUWM 89.7 FM

Public security, an impending pension disaster, schooling and housing had been all subjects on the desk for the seven candidates at a Milwaukee mayoral candidate discussion board, co-sponsored by Listen MKE, Wednesday evening.

Candidates gathered forward of the first election going down this coming Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

>> Make your voice heard! Tell Listen MKE what’s most important to you in the race for Milwaukee’s next mayor.

Milwaukee resident LaToya Woods requested how the candidates would tackle housing — affordability, slumlords and the racial hole in homeownership and homelessness.

Appearing Mayor Cavalier Johnson

Appearing Mayor Cavalier Johnson was requested to reply first. He stated when town first bought the American Rescue Plan Act funds, he labored to ensure town put $40 million of it into inexpensive housing. He additionally referenced tax incremental financing (TIF), a method for town to make use of personal growth funding.

“When these TIF districts closeout you then take the increment in that final 12 months, as legally we are able to try this, you are taking that cash that you’ve within the metropolis, you pair that cash with philanthropic {dollars}, you pair that cash with personal sector {dollars} too, and also you make investments that cash into the neighborhoods to handle this subject round housing instability,” Johnson stated. 

Journal Sentinel reporter James Causey then requested the candidates in the event that they help the proper to counsel for tenants in eviction instances.

Marina Dimitrijevic

Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic stated she labored on that very subject when she was on the Milwaukee County Board. “To supply that preliminary funding and public {dollars}, this system bought began to cut back evictions and supply folks public help to the proper to counsel in Milwaukee County. We began that program. And we bought a variety of warmth. Individuals stated do not use taxpayer {dollars} to assist folks defend themselves. We’ve to tip the scales in favor of justice. In order that program began there,” she stated.

Earnell Lucas

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas chastised landlords like Youssef “Joe” Berrada, who’s being sued by the Wisconsin Division of Justice for alleged landlord-tenant violations. The Journal Sentinel studies that Berrada’s firm filed greater than 11% of the county’s eviction lawsuits final 12 months.

“Why hasn’t laws been already put forth to forestall and shut these sorts of loopholes for house owners? The town has taken steps to handle getting a number of the housing inventory off town’s position and put it again out for homeownership. I believe that is a beautiful effort. We have to make investments extra into it to maneuver folks from occupancy to possession,” Lucas stated.

>> Berrada Properties accused of tenant violations during pandemic in Milwaukee

Bob Donovan

A number of candidates, together with former Ald. Bob Donovan, would wish to work with organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Donovan stated he would additionally create a lease to personal program.

“I’ve at all times been a believer that we do not have to reinvent the wheel. I believe that there are glorious applications which have been profitable in different communities. Any chief must carry these to Milwaukee, maybe fine-tune it and make it work right here,” Donovan stated.

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State Sen. Lena Taylor stated town ought to begin a program like one in Ensley, Alabama that trains highschool children to renovate and rehab houses. And on the finish of this system, she stated, college students should purchase one of many completed homes.

“We do not have 20% African American homeownership, not even 7%. And it is extraordinarily dismal in a metropolis that’s majority folks of colour. So I wish to see the sorts of applications that enable us to take the properties that we’ve got earlier than they turn into dilapidated, earlier than they’re sitting for 3 years and an eyesore.” Taylor stated. 

Michael Sampson

Candidate Michael Sampson

However one of many candidates, businessman Michael Sampson, stated folks simply want a roof over their heads.

“I imply, you should purchase tiny homes on Amazon as of late. So let’s cease making an attempt to construct these large residence buildings for inexpensive housing. And let’s rethink issues. Let’s take a look at a smaller scale. Additionally, downtown builders, we bought to start out trying to the north and south sides. There’s loads of cash in downtown. These builders have put up the identical residence complexes; everyone knows who they’re, everyone knows what they appear to be, all of them look the identical. Let’s get a few of these on the north and south sides,” Sampson stated.

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Others, like group activist Ieshuh Griffin, had been involved about excessive rents. She stated she’d arrange rental caps.

“In my Ieshuh for the Individuals plan, I’ve MENDUS: Main Financial Neighborhood Improvement Below Supervision, which talks concerning the greenback homes that town permits simply sit. I want to donate a number of the homes to the homeless, to individuals who cannot afford houses, you already know. Additionally, in relation to seniors as owners, a variety of seniors have already paid their mortgages are being mainly pimped by the federal government,” Griffin stated.

Griffin would additionally wish to exempt seniors from paying property taxes.

The first election for mayor is that this Tuesday and two candidates will transfer ahead and face off in April.

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