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July 28, 2015

Take Root Milwaukee Celebrates Fifth Year of Stabilizing Neighborhoods

Homeownership
Milwaukee Building

Five years ago today, at the height of the housing crisis, Freddie Mac and the City of Milwaukee, launched Take Root Milwaukee, a simple idea that has helped more than 16,400 low to moderate income residents buy a home, fix a home, strengthen their finances, or avoid foreclosure. The simple idea is that we can protect residential neighborhoods by uniting government agencies, financial institutions and the real estate industry into a single network that residents can contact with one click or one phone number (414) 921-4149.

In an average month, Take Root Milwaukee's hotline and website connects 1,425 residents to professionals and resources provided by the 32 member organizations. Over the past five years, Take Root Milwaukee has:

  • Provided over 15,984 individuals with homebuyer and foreclosure resources, information and assistance.
  • Provided homebuyer education and counseling to over 12,716 individuals and families.
  • Helped over 2,606 first-time homebuyers purchase a home, with 31% purchasing a foreclosed home that helped to stabilize Milwaukee neighborhoods.
  • Seen a 78% increase in lending to minority neighborhoods, and a 37% increase in lending to low-to-moderate income neighborhoods by member lenders.

"Take Root is a success on many levels. It has united government, the real estate industry, and financial institutions in the collaborative effort to limit the damage of residential foreclosures on Milwaukee," Mayor Barrett said. "And its ongoing work positively affects individuals, neighborhoods, and our entire city."

"Take Root Milwaukee's success gives communities everywhere a road map for giving consumers a one-stop resource for buying, financing, and owning a home," said Danny Gardner, single family vice president of affordable lending and access to credit at Freddie Mac. "Freddie Mac is proud to be a part of Take Root and to move housing forward in Milwaukee."

Freddie Mac has also launched Take Root initiatives to help families and neighborhoods in Chicago and South Florida.

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