New ordinance could open city homes to convicted felons

New ordinance could open city homes to convicted felons
Posted at 6:58 PM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 19:58:08-05

A new policy unanimously approved by the Milwaukee Common Council could allow convicted felons to buy city-owned properties.

The Common Council believes this new policy a big win, and will help convicted felons get back on their feet.

Michael Mckinnie doesn't see a problem with the proposal.

"I believe anybody can turn their life around, get out and be positive. I believe in giving second chances," said Mckinnie.

The new policy was first introduced by Alderman Khalif Rainey.

"Whether these individuals are homeowners in our neighborhoods or not, they're still in our neighborhoods," said Rainey.

He tells TODAY's TMJ4 the idea came from seeing people dejected after finding out they weren't eligible to purchase Sherman Park homes for $1 from a meeting two months ago. There was a statute that banned felons from purchasing city properties.

"I thought it was important that we lifted that ban and gave those who've demonstrated a reform the opportunity to have home ownership through the purchasing of property from the City of Milwaukee," said Rainey.

However, parents like Mckinnie want to make sure felons have background checks.

"Some type of evaluation, some type of requirements, most definitely," said Mckinnie.

"Ultimately you do have to go through a screening process," said Rainey.

A move he believes builds strong neighborhoods which is in the best interest for Milwaukee.

"There are many people in our community who do have a criminal background, who have done things that they have since reformed and are now upstanding citizens," said Rainey.

The city currently owns close to 3,000 properties. The ordinance is now in Mayor Barrett's office, and he can either sign it or veto.

Be sure and try our new SNOWCAST APP! It is the "snow equivalent to STORM SHIELD" - a great new product that gives you high resolution snow forecasts for any part of the nation! It has just been introduced for iPhones, but we are working on the Android version! Just search SNOWCAST in the App Store or click here.