ACTS Housing names new leader as Quindel launches rent-to-own venture

ACTS Housing has named Michael Gosman executive director as the Milwaukee nonprofit’s former leader, Carl Quindel, launches a for-profit company aimed at helping aspiring homeowners succeed in a rent-to-own program.

ACTS Housing, which centers on making homeownership accessible for low-income families and transforming neighborhoods through sustainable homeownership, announced the change in leadership in a letter penned to its stakeholders. The letter was signed by both board president John Linnen and Rev Dennis Lewis, program founder and pastor at St. Michael’s and St. Rose Parishes.

Quindel, who had headed ACTS Housing since August 2006, established Strong Blocks in February. Through the for-profit venture, Quindel will work to help 24 area families struggling to achieve homeownership become long-term homeowners through a rent-to-own approach.

Those homeowners will navigate a six to 21-month rent-to-own program as Strong Blocks supports them with resources for rehabbing and financing, ultimately setting them up to potentially save hundreds of dollars a month.

Each year, approximately 1,800 area families tap ACTS Housing for homeownership assistance, according to the organization’s letter. About 250 families within that pool do not currently have the financial means to pursue successful homeownership, according to the nonprofit’s analysis.

“Even with our team’s best efforts, the personalized road map toward homeownership that our counseling team provides can often feel insurmountable,” the organization’s letter stated.

That pool will be served by Strong Blocks as it “harnesses the private market” to open up access to homeownership, according to Linnen and Lewis’ letter.

While Strong Blocks will operate independently of ACTS Housing, the nonprofit will provide real estate and rehab management services to the company at market rates.

“The two organizations will work closely together – similarly to how ACTS works with mortgage lenders and other partners – with the end result that more families will have the opportunity to become sustainable homeowners,” as written in the organization’s letter.

Gosman has already transitioned into his new role as executive director, focusing on amplifying the nonprofit’s success in 2014, when it helped 137 families purchase homes. Many of those properties were previously vacant, vandalized foreclosures.

Prior to taking the lead of ACTS Housing, Gosman served the organization as assistant director for two years and, before that position, volunteered with the organization while working as an attorney at Milwaukee-based Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.

Quindel will continue to contribute to ACTS Housing’s mission in a part-time consulting capacity.

ACTS Housing operates with 12 staff members and is based at 2414 W. Vliet St. in Milwaukee.

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