Milwaukee's Choice Neighborhood

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On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the City of Milwaukee and Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) grant to support a locally-driven, comprehensive strategy to transform Westlawn and the surrounding neighborhood into an inclusive community of opportunity with quality housing, schools, businesses, services, and amenities where people want to live, learn, work, shop, and play. Milwaukee was one of five applicants to be awarded the competitive grant.

HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti said of the grant, "This award is going to invest in Westlawn, it's going to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood, it's going to help bring your plans for progress to life."

Many public and private partners have committed over $250 million in additional resources to support Milwaukee's Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan.

The area to be impacted by this effort is bordered by Sherman Boulevard on the east, 76th Street on the west, Mill Road on the north, and Villard Avenue on the south.

Milwaukee CNI Boundaries

Milwaukee's Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan builds upon a foundation of positive activities in the area, including the revitalization of the eastern half of the Westlawn public housing development in 2012 into modern, mixed-income and eco-friendly housing.  Now called Westlawn Gardens, the area was certified by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2013 as one of the most sustainable neighborhoods in the world. 

The Transformation Plan focuses on four core areas:

Lead Agency: Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
The foundation of the plan is the development of a mixed-income, mixed-use community at Westlawn. This will include the replacement of 394 distressed public housing apartments and the addition of 314 new affordable and market-rate rental and homeownership options.

Lead Agency: Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
The plan will provide case management to improve health, employment, educational and self-sufficiency outcomes for Westlawn residents. Case management will seek to connect residents to medical, dental and mental health care; assist residents in developing an employment plan and connecting them to training and employment opportunities; enroll youth in high-quality self-development programs; and connect residents to financial education and asset building programs.

Lead Agency: Milwaukee Public Schools
The plan will develop a neighborhood-based, high-quality educational pathway to take youth from cradle to college or career. The plan will focus on increasing and improving access to early childhood education; strengthening and increasing coordination between neighborhood schools; ensuring youth are graduating ready for college or career; and expanding the HACM Education Initiative to Westlawn. 

Lead Agency: Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee
Using and building upon existing partnerships, the plan will support a well-connected, vibrant, mixed-income neighborhood with amenities and assets that attract individuals and families. The plan will focus on improving retail options; building community spirit through placemaking and other initiatives; improving parks, transportation and other neighborhood amenities; enabling Tax Incremental Financing to support future development; and enhancing public safety.

For more information about Milwaukee's Choice Neighborhood Initiative, contact:

Paul Williams
Choice Neighborhood Initiative Coordinator
(414) 559-5973