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Milwaukee near south side organization turning vacant lots into affordable, family homes

September 20, 2023
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“One of them being, even though those homes are affordable and below market rate, they can still be a bit expensive,” she said.

So, the organization is starting a new approach, this time buying empty lots around the city and building affordable homes from the ground up.

“This new chapter for VIA, this new construction work is an opportunity for us to build housing and still create those affordable, safe, healthy homes at a more costly rate,” Bautch said.

VIA’s plan is to build more than 20 homes in the next two years. The homes will be about 1,100 square feet and will be sold for $110,000.
“This strategic pathway that we want to go down to make sure that our families have access to that safe and healthy housing, but also so that the surrounding neighbors don’t have to be concerned with a vacant lot that we know can somethings attract nuisance activities, bad actors,” Bautch said of the new project. “It’s really building that home for the family to move in and then watching the ripple effect it has on the block and the entire community.”

The groundbreaking for the first house of the new project will happen later Wednesday. Bautch expects construction will be done within six months. By then, it will be time to start thinking about what to plant in a garden.