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Milwaukee proposal to freeze home demolition put on hold

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Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 17:53:59-04

MILWAUKEE — A proposal to freeze the demolition of dilapidated homes in Milwaukee until officials find a way to use federal dollars to fix them up instead has been put on hold.

Ald. Robert Bauman's resolution called for the Milwaukee Common Council to direct the Department of Neighborhood Services to place a moratorium on mechanical demolitions of one to 4-family residential properties. That moratorium would have lasted through the end of the year.

Supporters of the resolution, including the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, argue saving and restoring the aging homes will both preserve historic architecture while also investing in much-needed affordable housing.

Milwaukee is about to receive just under $400 million from President Biden's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Supporters of the resolution hope to halt current demolitions while city leaders find out ways to use that money to repair the homes and offer them as affordable housing.

But council members in opposition to the proposal say there are already other efforts in place to repurpose aging housing in the city, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They also argue some homes are in such a bad state they hurt property values and are beyond repair.

During the council's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee meeting Tuesday, Bauman agreed to hold his proposal. There are no future dates scheduled when the committee would revisit the resolution.

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