[Hpn] Briefing on Milwaukee housing agency sought

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Mon, 18 Jun 2001 14:30:23 -0700


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Briefing on housing agency sought
Report on group's fiscal trouble worries alderman

of the Journal Sentinel staff

Last Updated: June 17, 2001

Ald. Michael Murphy said he would ask for a briefing on the troubled
Walker's Point Development Corp. because the agency receives block grant
money from the city.

Murphy, a member of the Common Council's Community Development Committee,
which recommends block grant spending, said the committee should have been
made aware of problems in the neighborhood housing organization.

Murphy was reacting to news last week that Walker's Point Development Corp.
Treasurer Elaine Richards acknowledged the organization has serious
financial problems.

The agency faces a foreclosure on a property at 1021-25 W. National Ave. And
monitoring reports from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
on Walker's Point Development Corp. housing programs for the homeless and
disabled found "serious problems" in financial and program management.

The news broke just prior to a summit Friday on the failure of other
non-profit housing organizations in the city in recent years. The Walker's
Point organization is one of the few remaining in the city.

The agency's financial problems highlight the need for a new agenda for
community development in Milwaukee, said Ald. Don Richards, chairman of the
Community Development Committee.

"What we're doing is not succeeding," he said.

At the summit, representatives from community development groups in Chicago,
Cleveland and Minneapolis described successful efforts they have undertaken
to build houses and create economic development in their cities.

Richards also was critical of Juanita Hawkins, director of the block grant
office, for not attending the summit.

"I'm disappointed that she's not here," he said. "I want a community
development office that helps us build something and leverage block grants
funds. She should be here getting new ideas to see how we can do things
better and that's not happening."

Hawkins responded to Richards' comments by saying, "We had representation

She also said Walker's Point Development Corp.'s troubles had not been
brought to her attention.

Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on June 18, 2001.

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