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“Stop disrespecting us:” People angered after learning $1 house deal in Sherman Park comes with a catch

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MILWAUKEE -- A buck per house -- that's what many people heard regarding a Milwaukee program aimed at redeveloping the Sherman Park neighborhood and other areas. So they showed up at City Hall on Monday, January 9th.


There are about 100 foreclosed homes that the city is selling for $1 each -- but there are a lot of requirements involved, and most of those who showed up at City Hall aren't able to meet those requirements, so some became angry.

The program is for developers.

A minimum of five homes need to be purchased by one developer, and each has to be renovated in 90 days to be eligible for a $10,000 rebate.

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

100 foreclosed homes are part of the target area.

This program aimed at renovating them was sparked by the unrest in Sherman Park in August. Several businesses in the area were destroyed.

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

Many who came to try to buy Sherman Park homes Monday at City Hall were taken into an overflow room, where they were told about other programs available.

"I think the program is great. I want a house to start a business. What they're saying -- when we buy our houses -- because we're not developers -- we have to live in our houses for five years," said Gloria Tatum.

But many wanted the same opportunities as developers.

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

Sherman Park $1 homes for sale

"Some of these people have more than $1 in their pocket OK? They need to stop disrespecting us and talking to us like we don't have a good sense. We know it takes money to bring these houses up to par, but work with us. Present a plan so that we can stabilize our community," said Brenda Hart-Richardson.homes6

The city will hold another informational meeting for developers at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 13th.

Officials said there are 1,300 boarded up properties for sale and grants are available for those who want to live in them.

The $1 deal is only for serious developers.


  • Jim

    If they would have read or listen past the house for a dollar part they would have known it was for developers and had to spend $10,000 in 90 days on renovations. But no just heard house for a dollar and assumed they where getting more “free” stuff.

      • Nick

        That’s because in the past, $1 houses were not sold under those conditions. You could not be a developer. You had to be the homeowner, fix all repairs, and live there a minimum of 5 years before you could rent or sell it. So they based their assumption on history, not because “they wanted something for nothing.” Do your research and stop living in stereotypes.

      • Greg

        Nick, that program still exists. This is a seprate program for developers to get a significant number of houses fixed to prevent a neighborhood from slipping anymore than it has.

        Giving someone a free (1$) house when they don’t have the funds and/or means to fix it doesn’t solve the issue of run down problem houses. That’s why they put the stipulation the houses had to be functional/code legal in 90 days. Those requirements are not as strict for homeowners looking to live in the property under the other program.

  • Greg

    To renovate a bombed out house in 90 days is likely a 50 to 80k investment. If the people can prove they have that much cash and are capable of doing the work then they should be eligible. My guess is they don’t have that much cash and are looking to get a house for free and don’t have the time or skills to renovate them. The city wants as many properties done as fast as possible, so the neighborhoods don’t slip further.

    • Greg

      That’s my guess Because if they had 40k in their pocket and the knowledge how to redevelop properties to make money they would already be doing it. Not relying on buying a house for 1$ that needs to be completely redone. The city wants a developer with the experience, man power, and the money to come in and take care of the property fast so the neighborhood doesn’t slip further. Your average person doesn’t have the skills, time, or money to do that, which could result in the property not being rehabilitated. There are already programs for people who want to live in a house to get deals from the city.

  • Whitney

    I don’t understand why people are angry; there was no disrespect involved. When I originally read about the $1 deal a few weeks back, it plain-as-day noted all these conditions and that the deal was for developers (although that part should have been obvious from the conditions). If they had read properly, they would have understood that. The conditions set forth are reasonable for developers, and are clearly there to keep companies from snatching up property only to let them sit vacant and run-down indefinitely while collecting on the rebates. The requirement of living in the house for five years if one wants to purchases as a private citizen is also not an unreasonable expectation; it’s again to avoid people abusing the rebate while doing nothing to help revitalize. There’s a lot of things wrong with Milwaukee, but this deal isn’t one of them. People just needed to read and understand that this ultimately in their best interest.

  • phacepalm

    I’m so tired of hearing this word disrespect being thrown around all the time. Listen up people…. Disrespect & disagree are two different words. Get it?

  • Chris B

    Exhausting… no one is ‘disrespected’

    EVERYONE has opportunity if they seize it. I am frustrated at adults who put forth little effort in school and then either drop out or barely graduate, then enter into the work force and demand a higher minimum due to the fact their diminished skill set limits their earning potential. I am also frustrated when someone has a poor track record for paying thier bills in a responsible manner and then, consequently, has a credit rating that limits their ability to take advantage of an opportunity like the presented above.

    Here’s the best part of America, go back to school (at any time in your life) to better yourself. Grants and loans are available to anyone to help make that happen. You can double or triple your hourly rate in two years with a degree. Next, pay your bills! Watch your credit score go up 100 points in a year…

    … Respect yourself!!!! This two step plan is more achieveable than you might realize.

    • Greg

      The developers are required to bring the properties up to code, which would likely be 40 to 80k dollars, and do it in 90 days. I would imagine the houses could be sold or rented. The reason the city is offering kick backs to the developer is the city knows the properties aren’t worth anything and it’s cheaper to pay a developer 10k bonus to make a problem house functional than it is to bulldoze it. Not to mention it’s better for the community. There is a separate program for people that want to live on the houses, the requirements are less.

      I personally don’t see where the profit comes in, I wouldn’t invest 40k into a house where the average home price is 60 to 70k. Renting could be a viable option long term option.

  • Clarke is a prostitute!

    I would love to meet you so I could spit in your face! you are part of a bigger problem! Keyboard internet sucker fish!

  • 2017willbebetter

    The requirements were set out at the get go. The city wants to have actual occupied homes not a bunch of drugs houses, crash pads and sex dens. Once they are refurbished and you have the $ go rent one. Did you seriously think you’d get a house for $1 and just stay there, doing nothing to fix it or the neighborhood up?

  • Z

    I highly doubt any of these fools have an extra 50k laying around to complete a 90 day renovation, let alone the skills to complete such a task.

    They just want the handouts, like usual.

  • Mark W.

    Q: I have a $1 right here. But *I* can’t buy a house?
    A: No, because that’s not the only part of the deal.
    Q: But $1 for a house is the only part I understand
    A: Did you think this was about gibsmedat?
    Q: yeah. It’s not? A: Um, no.

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