“The city closed the door on their face:” Senator Lena Taylor criticizes plan to rehab Sherman Park homes

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MILWAUKEE -- A state lawmaker is speaking out against a home rehab plan in the Sherman Park neighborhood. State Senator Lena Taylor says it's not helping the people who really need it.sherman-park-homes

Senator Taylor says funds are not being used the right way and doesn't put citizens first. The city has long said the plan will revitalize blighted homes.

In the wake of riots that stunned the Sherman Park neighborhood, plans were put in place to help build it back up. Last August, city and state leaders announced a project to restore the area.

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

"I want to put people from this neighborhood to work," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett

Two million dollars was earmarked for blight reductions, tearing down and fixing up vacant homes.

Monday, January 9th, a meeting was held discussing how 100 foreclosed homes are to be sold for $1 each to developers.

"For me, it's a four-way winner to get these homes back into circulation. First and foremost, I want families to be living in these homes," said Barrett.

People flooded City Hall thinking they might be eligible to buy -- not realizing the sales were only for developers who could buy at least five homes, renovating each in 90 days and earning a $10,000 rebate.homes6

"I think the people should be first, not developers," said Senator Taylor.

Lena Taylor

Lena Taylor

Taylor is now criticizing the plan, saying citizens should be able to buy the properties and fix them up.

"The people cried out for an opportunity to be able to help to create a solution and the city closed the door on their face and the state allowed it," said Taylor.

She says funds should more directly address community-police relations and opportunity gaps in the area.

"We should've looked at the map of the city and the county and said, 'where are our crisis areas?" said Taylor. "Where do we lack capacity for services?"

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

As the plan moves forward, not everyone is on board.


  • TT

    I was taught at a very young age that you must take responsibility for your actions or non actions. The burning and looting that occured in that once beautiful neighborhood has caused folks to leave that area. Due to the absence of those folks the neighborhood suffers.
    Now folks seem to think that they should get a free ride because of the result of these actions by folks that in many cases are not from that neighborhood, and in some not even from this state!
    You reap what you sow.

  • Chrisco

    Not one of these people could afford to bring these houses up to code and livable standards. They were very clear when they announced this.

  • deletedagain

    Hold a lottery among these people and give the house to the winner. Give them 90 days to rehab the house just like the developers. Let the results speak for themselves.
    The only other solution would be to drop napalm on the whole area

  • Huh !

    She just doesn’t get it ….. Developers have the cash to pay for the repairs, taxes, utilities and insurance ….. The city can collect with little chance of default …. These expenses and the ability to do quick repairs is something that most low to middle class citizens aren’t able to cover …. Is Lena going to cover the costs, or accept responsibility if the property is turned into a house for illegal activity ???

    • your income tax is their income

      Look at her picture, her bottom lip is a blur because all these “community activists” know how to do is run their mouth. You’ll never see her hands moving that fast doing real work. Also note the painting behind her in the picture. Must have been at some fantasy/sci-fi convention.

  • Hud

    Does Lena want the money first? The program rewards those who complete the task of refurbishing. Complete the project and then get rewarded. Not the other way around.

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