Mayor Tom Barrett today announced the City will launch “Take Root Milwaukee,” a campaign to promote homeownership and aid local homeowners faced with foreclosure.
“Take Root Milwaukee” is a combined effort of Freddie Mac and the Milwaukee Homeownership Consortium, a collaboration of local housing partners established in June 2009. The campaign will include a variety of media outlets, including broadcast and billboards, to inform the community of resources available to assist homeowners facing foreclosure. “Take Root Milwaukee”” also will provide information about resources that support home ownership, including financial help and home ownership counseling. A comprehensive website, http://www.takerootmilwaukee.org, and hotline, 414-921-4149, will be a centerpiece of the campaign.
“We are united in our efforts to reach the best possible outcomes for homeowners facing foreclosure, for neighborhoods impacted by foreclosures, and for the entire city of Milwaukee,” Mayor Barrett said. “These are complex challenges that require concerted efforts to engage and inform people about the options available. It is all possible because of the cooperation among many different businesses, organizations and individuals.”
“Take Root Milwaukee” is the latest element of a broad local strategy to combat the impact of high rates of mortgage foreclosure. The strategy was developed by Mayor Barrett’s Milwaukee Foreclosure Partnership Initiative, launched in September 2008. To date, MFPI efforts have assisted thousands of families in Milwaukee in obtaining housing counseling, engage in mediation to prevent foreclosure, and purchase and renovate foreclosed properties.
"Take Root Milwaukee has created a formal system to link homeowners with housing counselors and lenders to help them determine the best solution for their current situation. This initiative builds on the fact that housing counselors help millions of individuals each year regain their financial footing," said Dwight Robinson, Freddie Mac senior vice president of Corporate Relations and Housing Outreach.
The City and its housing partners report that many homeowners are reluctant to step forward when in financial crisis and unable to meet mortgage obligations. At times, they are unaware partners and resources in the community can help. In addition, research indicates that homeowners receiving pre-purchase homeownership counseling from housing counseling agencies were much less likely to end up in foreclosure.