Barrett appoints leaders of housing program

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced the leadership team for the Strong Neighborhoods Investment Plan, a multi-year effort focused on city-owned, vacant and abandoned property.

SNIP seeks to reduce the blighting impact of vacant and abandoned property across the City and decrease the number of City-owned properties. The 2014 City budget allocates $11.7 million toward these goals.

Aaron Szopinski, an analyst in the City’s Budget & Management Division, has been named housing director, and Mario Higgins of the Community Development & Grants Administration Office has been named housing outreach director.

Szopinski was the architect of the SNIP program during the 2014 budget process, and Higgins has experience with housing development projects. Together, they will coordinate the efforts of city departments, work with community partners, and provide accountability for the city’s investment in neighborhoods and housing under SNIP.

“The challenges we face are unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetimes,” Barrett said. “SNIP will tap into great ideas both within City government and the community. We will build on the inherent strength of Milwaukee neighborhoods. The SNIP program and the investments we’re making will make our neighborhoods even stronger.”

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