Partnership plans to build affordable homes in Milwaukee

A small Milwaukee real estate development company and a local nonprofit group intend to build 15 affordable houses for first-time homebuyers on vacant lots in the city.

The homes will be built near the intersection of 38th Street and National Avenue by the end of 2003. Housing Empowerment Development Co. (HEDC) is partnering with the South Community Organization, a nonprofit agency, to build the houses.With the partnership, HEDC builds the modular homes and sells them to the nonprofit group, which arranges for financing and sells them.

The 1,600-square-foot, two-story homes would include a variety of models, according to Joseph White, executive vice president of HEDC. The firm’s president is architect Douglas Ryhn.The homes will have an appraised value of $125,000 to $140,000, but will be sold with lower-than-market interest rates from $100,000 to $110,000 to first-time homebuyers.

The price reductions will be subsidized through grants provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.Two other modular homes built by HEDC near 7th and Madison streets have been sold and are occupied, White said. White also is the president of Excelon, Inc., a food ingredient company on Milwaukee’s south side, and is the president of the Modjeska Theatre Co. board of directors.

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