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Homebuyer Assistance Program
Forgivable Loans up to $20,000 for Rehabilitation of City-Owned Homes

The Homebuyer Assistance Program provides funding to help prospective homeowners rehabilitate foreclosed homes they will occupy as their primary residence. Both financial and technical assistance are provided as part of the program. The program is being administered by the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC).

Fully forgivable Homebuyer Assistance second mortgage loans of up to $20,000 are available to assist eligible homebuyers with the rehabilitation of City-owned foreclosed homes. Homebuyer Assistance is limited to no more than one half of the total cost of the purchase and rehabilitation of the property. The City is working with a number of lenders who can provide first mortgage loans to eligible potential homebuyers going through the program. Attend an orientation session or if you feel that you're ready to get started complete the application below. 

(Please note: Applicants who propose to purchase a property in cash must be prepared to also provide proof of matching funds to cover the costs of rehabilitation not covered by the Homebuyer Assistance program.)


New! Live/Work Duplex Program

7 Steps to Homeownership!


Complete 8 hours of homebuyer counseling from a HUD-approved Homebuyer Counseling Agency. Waivers available for previous homeowners. View approved counseling agencies at right.

Receive a “pre-qualification” or “pre-approval” for your first mortgage from a local lender (or have documentation of available funds if using cash). Buyers must contribute at least $1,000 of their own funds toward the purchase and rehabilitation of the property. Buyers can work with any lender of their choosing. The lenders listed to the right offer loan products designed specifically to partner with the Homebuyer Assistance Program. 


Work with a real estate agent to locate an eligible city-owned foreclosed property with 1-2 housing units. Remember, foreclosed properties may need significant repairs. Allow 45 days between offer and closing date to develop final scope of work and finalize financing.

Submit application for Homebuyer Assistance. Homebuyer Assistance is not available if you have already purchased the City-owned property. Applicants must apply and be approved for the loan before purchasing the foreclosed property in order to be eligible.


Work with City Rehabilitation Specialist to finalize scope of work, obtain bids and select your contractor. Buyers may be required to make additional repairs beyond those identified in “code compliance” scope of work to minimize the chance that critical systems will require major repairs during the initial years of ownership.



Construction can begin after purchase. Your Rehabilitation Specialist will continue to work with you to ensure that work is done correctly and will approve payments to contractors. Work must be complete within 90 days. One 90 day extension may be approved for weather related work.


Once you have lived in the property for five years after project completion, the HBA loan will be fully forgiven. Loans are forgiven on an annual pro rata basis over a five year period. If a property is sold during the initial five year period, you must repay the loan balance.


Visit the Take Root Milwaukee website if you are a homeowner
at risk of losing your home to foreclosure or need additional home resources. 


Last page update 12/7/18


Contact Us


809 North Broadway, 3rd Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 286-5610

Strong Neighborhoods Plan
Let's work together to build a stronger Milwaukee.

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(Solicitud en español)

Live/Work Duplex Program Addendum


Program Resources

View our HBA brochure below to find out
more about this exciting opportunity!

The program is not limited to first-time homebuyers and there are no maximum income limits.
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