MILWAUKEE- A year’s long foray into building homes on Milwaukee’s north side has spawned a new focus for Milwaukee’s Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to a horde of ‘new builds’, Habitat is also helping people with existing homes with its Critical Home Repair program.
“We can offer assistance with a number of projects, from porch repairs to full roof replacements to replacing windows and helping with electrical hazards,” Habitat Communications Director Jake Brandt says.
“As we were building in some of the northwest neighborhoods we’d see the blocks of new builds but we’d also find existing home owners that clearly had a need for critical home repairs,” Brandt says.
One of the beneficiaries of the program is Sheila Milton. Milton is a single grandmother who retired on disability and is currently battling a broken foot.
“It means a lot because I was able to get a roof replaced at a reasonable price with the help of Habitat without having to have a tremendous amount of loans taken out to get it repaired,” Milton told WTMJ from her home in Milwaukee’s Metcalf Park neighborhood.
Milton says Habitat was able to assess what her home needed and set up the work with the subcontractors. She says the work was completed within a few weeks last spring.
For Habitat, Brandt says it gives them another opportunity to not only help their clients, but local contractors. Brandt says they work with locally owned professionals on nearly every project.
“We particularly look to hire contractors within the community that we serve to not only be able to invest in the families in the area but invest in the businesses in the areas,” Brandt says. “That’s really important to us.”
The Critical Home Repair program began in 2018 with 12 projects, Brandt says they’ve since expanded to 46 families this year.