The final numbers are in, and another extremely successful Milwaukee Habitat fundraiser is in the books! The annual Framing the Future Gala, held this year on October 4th in the century-old wood shop where the lumber for each Milwaukee Habitat home is actually cut to size, raised a staggering $300,000! That total figure includes Accunet’s $37,500 matching donation pledge and $37,500 from you, our amazing employees, customers, vendors, real estate agents and even our competitors, who all pitched in.
This means Milwaukee Habitat will be able to start construction on three more homes as part of its most ambitious neighborhood revitalization program in its 30-year history. The aptly named Midtown 100 will result in the construction of 65 new homes, 20 major repairs and 15 complete rehabs (that’s a total of 100 homes) in the Midttown neighborhood over the next three years. Starting this past spring, blocks of empty lots are being transformed into the highest concentration of affordable, single-family homes built in Milwaukee since WWII.
And to reinforce the real impact that Habitat for Humanity homes have on families and their communities, this year’s Framing the Future Gala featured a special guest speaker and proud Habitat homeowner – Gail Crockett. Gail built her Habitat home 20 years ago in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood. During that time she’s become an anchor for change in the community that now includes 140 current Habitat homeowners. Watch her speech below, as she talks about the transformation she’s seen in the neighborhood.
Remember, Habitat for Humanity is NOT a giveaway program . Habitat homeowners are required to pay back a mortgage equal to the fair market value of the home (typically about $95,000) over a loan term that makes sure no more than 30% of their monthly income goes toward the house payment (including taxes and insurance). The rate on the mortgage from Habitat is lower than what even low-overhead Accunet could offer (it’s 0%), which is a big reason the cost of owning with Habitat is less than renting. Each monthly payment of principal goes right back into program to build the next house for another low-income Milwaukee family.
Additionally, the homeowners are required to invest between 300 (for single heads of households) and 500 hours (for couples) of genuine “sweat equity” in their home construction or the building of another Habitat for Humanity home. That’s 7 to 12 weeks of full-time labor at 40 hours per week which they somehow fit in while working their regular full-time job. They also complete extensive financial counseling and home ownership training.
Habitat improves the entire neighborhood. As a result of its most recently completed neighborhood revitalization effort, more than 215 families now have safe, affordable homes in Milwaukee’s Washington Park neighborhood. Crime has decreased 48% on the blocks where they’ve built and repaired homes, because home ownership not only improves the lives of the individual families, but everyone around them. Vacant lots and condemned homes are also returned to the tax rolls as property-tax-producing properties. The idea is to repeat the success achieved in Washington Park in the Midtown neighborhood just to the east of Washington Park.
Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is a well-managed, highly effective, self-sustaining force for good in Milwaukee, and you can make a donation anytime here.
2018 Framing the Future Gala