Marquette, Near West Side Partners awarded $1.3 million from HUD for economic development

HUD Award could improve housing opportunities on Near West Side

College Court Apartments

Marquette University and Near West Side Partners was awarded $1.3 million Monday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize the College Court apartments and to continue economic development efforts on the northwest side.

College Court apartments

Through the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant, Marquette University and the Near West Side Partners will develop a plan, working with residents and surrounding stakeholders to continue to improve housing opportunities in the neighborhood.

College Court, 3334 W. Highland Blvd., is a 248-unit housing development for low-income families, seniors and disabled adults.

“This funding investment will support the efforts of a sound public-private partnership to develop a plan to improve the availability of quality, affordable housing for Milwaukee’s Near West Side,” said Tony Pérez, Secretary-Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. “In addition, the Housing Authority is pleased to join with the Near West Side Partners to continue their thoughtful examination of all the components beyond housing that are necessary to bring renewal and health to the entire neighborhood.”

U.S. HUD awarded nearly $5 million to six communities across the country, including Marquette and Near West Side Partners. Other awards were given in Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey.

The Marquette University and the Near West Side Partners award is one of only three grantees that received an additional $950,000 for “Action Activities” within their award.

The additional funding can be used for several uses including community gardens, pocket parks, farmers markets community arts projects; homeowner and business façade improvement programs; fresh food initiatives; and gap financing for economic development projects.

NWSP and Marquette University will work with the other Near West Side anchor institutions – Advocate Aurora Health, Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors, Potawatomi Business Development Corporation – along with other key partners, including Business Improvement District #10, the City of Milwaukee, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, LISC, Marquette University Center for Peacemaking, Marquette Democracy Lab, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee Public Schools, and Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP on the project.

“The award is a testament to the commitment of our Near West Side Partners’ anchor institutions over the past three-plus years as we aim to be a national model for community engagement,” said Keith Stanley, executive director of Near West Side Partners, Inc. “It will allow us to leverage the tremendous growth that is occurring elsewhere in the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin.”

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