2020 Public-Private Cooperation Award

By Jeffrey Schmidt

Public-Private Cooperation
Milwaukee Employment/Renovation Initiative (MERI)
City of Milwaukee Department of City Development
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI)

In the wake of the unrest in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood in August, 2016, elected officials and citizens alike called for swift action to address problems such as poor housing and lack of jobs. A partnership between state and city officials and six private developers created the MERI This initiative invested $7.9 million in over 100 tax-foreclosed properties, well above the original goal of $1 million. Further, 33,000 hours of work were performed by city residents, many of whom later received permanent employment.

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