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Non-Profit Guidelines for Purchasing City Houses



Purchasing City Houses for $1,000

The city will sell to non-profit organizations at a reduced price of $1,000 if the property has been on the market for MORE THAN 60 DAYS, available for investor purchase, and the asking price is $25,000 or less.


Guidelines for $1,000 purchases:

  • Non-profit buyers must complete the Non-profit Buyer Affidavit and submit with Offer to Purchase along with proof of current status with WI DFI
  • Pay closing costs including but not limited to the Letter Report, closing fee, current tax bill if applicable, current water bill, and broker’s commission if the property is listed with a broker.
  • Must have been in operation for at least 12 months.
  • Must have housing rehab experience and the intent of the purchase must be to rehabilitate the property.
  • At least one staff person from the nonprofit must complete the free Department of Neighborhood Services Landlord Training Program prior to closing.
  • To view a City property on the Extended Listing, a Right of Entry agreement and key must be picked up by contacting David Dorsey at (414) 286-5645 or by email at [email protected]. To view a City property that is listed with a broker, view our broker listed properties website and contact the broker directly
  • Brokers will not be paid by the City on the sale of properties through this program
  • Buyers must conform to standard City buyer policies

Steps needed to secure such a purchase:

  1. Select a vacant property with a sales price equal to or less than $25,000. Choose from properties marked as eligible on the Extended Listing  ( Eligible for Community Based Organization [CBO] $1,000 sale) or a property listed with one of our outside brokers.
    PLEASE NOTE: Additional properties are listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). To get information on those properties contact a Wisconsin licensed real estate agent.
  2. Examine the scope of work for the repairs (provided by the City).
  3. Non-profit buyers are considered investor buyers, and must provide a $1,000 performance deposit (Per property) at closing. Buyers are obligated to complete essential repairs within 365 days of closing. Deposit is refundable if buyer completes the Essential Repairs at the property, and obtains a DNS stamped Essential Repair Verification Form within 365 days of closing.  Please see Offer to Purchase for additional details.
  4. Provide evidence of financing for the rehabilitation of the property (no gift letters).*
  5. Provide proof of current IRS Non-Profit tax exempt status, such as 501(c)(3)  determination letter and Articles of incorporation/organization and must be registered with WI DFI with offer.
  6. Provide DNS Landlord Training Program certificate of completion.
  7. For properties on the Extended Listing, offers to purchase shall be made directly to the City real estate office on City forms. Submit City of Milwaukee - Offer to Purchase to 809 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Email offers to [email protected] or fax to (414) 286-0395. For properties listed through a broker, offers must be submitted directly to that broker.
  8. Submit the standard City of Milwaukee Residential Offer to Purchase, attaching the Non-Profit Buyer Affidavit to the offer.

Additional Information:

  • Are you a non-profit construction trades training program?   If you meet all of the qualifications above and you offer a credentialed program, you may be eligible for additional sales price discounts.  Click here for more information.

* Buyers are required to show proof of financing for essential repair work prior to closing. Such proof may include a commitment letter from a lender or a current bank statement.

The organization must provide documentation of experience in the acquisition and rehabilitation of residential properties.

All property sales to nonprofits will be subject to real estate taxes, and will contain a deed restriction preventing the owner from seeking tax exempt status.  

If the buyer does not have previous experience in residential renovation, the buyer must submit information that demonstrates that team members (general contractor, real estate agent, property manager, etc.) have previous relevant experience that will ensure the project’s success.

For buyers that have not previously purchased property from the City of Milwaukee, the City reserves the right to require proof of successful performance on the first property sold before accepting additional offers to purchase from the buyer.

If a buyer seeks to purchase multiple properties, it is preferable that properties be clustered geographically. Offers to purchase properties in bulk will be evaluated based on the buyer’s previous track record and level of proposed investment in the properties.

City of Milwaukee Department of Administration  

Contact Us

Real Estate
809 North Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 286-5730

Residential Properties (414) 286-5645 
David Dorsey [email protected]

Email offers to: [email protected]

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