Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has an ambitious plan to fix the city's affordable housing crisis.

CityLab contributer Susan Nusser writes:

In February of this year, Barrett announced his “Ten Thousand Homes in Ten Years” affordable housing initiative. It’s an effort to extend the reach and impact of the city’s recent downtown building boom: Recently, the city opened a $524 million arena for the NBA’s Bucks, built a $450-million glass skyscraper for Northwestern Mutual, and added almost 12,000 new residential units. This surge of development may have reshaped the city’s skyline, but it has done little to alleviate the lack of housing for lower-income residents. Just 760 of those new units, says Department of City Development commissioner Rocky Marcoux, are affordable.

However, Nusser questions if the plan will come to fruition and improve housing in the area.

Danell Cross, executive director of Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, wants the city to help developers lower their rents by giving them “the money they need to help them drive down the price.” The mayor’s new plan, she says, “is so imperfect, that it’s not even a plan.” If the city wants to succeed, says Rogers, they have to involve the community and make addressing racial justice and economic equality their priority. “It has to be the intent for the city to do this,” she says. “And it never has been.”

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