Revitalize Milwaukee is receiving $1 million to continue to serve people through its Emergency Repair Program.
The nonprofit organization helps communities by providing free, critical home repairs and comprehensive services to low-income veterans, seniors and people with disabilities.
It is the largest provider of free home repairs in southeastern Wisconsin and is continuing to add more services.
“If you knew us before the pandemic, you should probably check back in,” said Lynnea Katz-Petted, Revitalize Milwaukee’s chief executive officer. “We added at least 10 new program areas over the last two years.”
The new funds were secured by U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, and will be used to make home repairs and to assist low-income residents in improving the safety of their homes.
Moore said the funds are especially important as Milwaukee is grappling with aging housing stock.
“I believe two-thirds of the city’s housing stock was built before 1960; 42% was built before 1940,” she said. “There are many safety upgrades that need to be addressed.”
Trying to meet a demand
Moore said the demand for Revitalize Milwaukee’s services has surged over the past few years.
“We have seen an increase in the need for emergency repairs,” Katz-Petted said. “We could employ 40 full-time contractors and would still need more help.”
She encourages those who need services to reach out as soon as possible.
“Milwaukee is full of very resilient homeowners who have learned how to survive with their homes in critical disrepair,” she said. “Those are the people we want to reach because you don’t have to suffer or tolerate it.”
Katz-Petted said her organization is here to help.
“If you struggle with speaking English or just struggle to read, call us,” she said. “We will walk you through the application or read it to you out loud. We are here to help, not judge.”
Moore wants Revitalize Milwaukee’s services to be replicated for residents who don’t meet the eligibility requirements for the Emergency Repair Program.
“I hope that Revitalize MKE continues to do a great job so that this program can come to scale,” Moore said. “Because while our low-income residents need help making these upgrades, so do residents in other tax brackets.”
For more information
You can call (414) 312-7531 or click here for more information.
In addition, the organization is looking to help 30 Milwaukee County and/or Waukesha County homeowners make their homes more energy efficient. Applications are being accepted until funds run out. To learn more about this grant opportunity, contact the group’s partner agency, Green Homeowners United, at (414) 604-6418 or complete this form.