ACTS Housing’s mission is to promote affordable home ownership that fosters a low-income family’s ability to be self-empowered, thereby reducing community blight, neighborhood deterioration, and poverty. ACTS’ strategy is to generate home ownership opportunities for inner-city residents within a targeted neighborhood so that an entire community can be transformed and sustained. ACTS’ team provides home buying services throughout the city of Milwaukee.
($) Millions Invested
ACTS’ vision is for each block inside the church neighborhoods we serve to be made up of at least 60% homeowners who are self-empowered. Self-empowered families have access to low-cost money, are entrepreneurial, build wealth through home ownership, and live in safe, sanitary, and affordable housing.
ACTS serves diverse families throughout Milwaukee’s inner city. Most families buy a home close to where they currently rent. Most of these homes are formerly vacant, vandalized foreclosures.Usually rehab costs are less than demolition and new owners save hundreds on their monthly housing costs.
In 1992, St. Michael’s church started a pilot housing program to encourage families to purchase homes around the church. At that time, several older church members wished to sell their homes. In late 1995, three Milwaukee Central City churches — St. Rose (33rd and Michigan), St. Michael (24th and Cherry), and St. Francis of Assisi (4th and Brown) formally incorporated ACTS as the non-profit vehicle through which they would collaborate to promote economic self-sufficiency of church members and neighborhood residents. ACTS employs an African-American Homeownership Coordinator, an Asian licensed real estate broker, and a Caucasian Rehab Manager who target this area.
ACTS’ main office is at 2414 W. Vliet in the former convent of St. Michael’s Parish.
The north side membership formed in January of 2000. The north side churches originally consisted of All Saints (4060 N. 26th), Blessed Trinity (4717 N. 38th), and the Dominican Center (2470 W. Locust St.). The Dominican Center now operates its own program while continuing to collaborate with ACTS. In the spring of 2005, St. Martin de Porres (128 W. Burleigh St.) and St. James in Brookfield began to collaborate with the north side membership. ACTS employs an African-American licensed real estate saleswoman who targets this area.
ACTS’ North side office, originally formed by All Saints, Blessed Trinity, and the Dominican Center, is now housed out of St. Martin De Porres Parish, at 128 W. Burleigh Street.
The south side office formed in 2000, with the help of Ascension Lutheran Church, Faith Lutheran, St. Rafael the Archangel, and Prince of Pease/Principe de Paz. The office is located at 3132 W. Lincoln out of St. Rafael.
ACTS CDC employs a Latina licensed real estate saleswoman who targets this area.
ACTS Housing is an expert at finding incredible deals for our clients in our focus neighborhoods. However, as a real estate brokerage, ACTS does not steer clients to any particular neighborhood. Many families that have purchased homes in our focus neighborhoods have subsequently seen a significant appreciation in the value of their homes and have decided to move to nearby communities.
It is our pleasure to help families achieve their homeownership dreams in the communities of their choice.
ACTS Housing Helps First Time Home Buyers
ACTS was born as the neighborhood around St. Michael’s Church was ravaged by crime and disinvestment in housing. This activity generated many vacant homes that were deemed useless by the City and the private market. Through a unique partnership with the City of Milwaukee, ACTS introduced local residents in the neighborhood to these vacant homes, showed each family how to buy and rehab them, convinced local banks that they would be excellent customers for their best mortgage programs, and then stepped back and witnessed the rebirth of a neighborhood. Where no private market existed, ACTS was able to create a viable real estate market that is now self-sustaining. The norm in this community has become home ownership.
ACTS has traditionally worked with low-income families and individuals who were denied access to the home ownership market for various reasons. Our team works with families and individuals who have made mistakes and poor decisions concerning their personal finances. Each Specialist is trained as a credit counselor in order to assist clients with their efforts to become qualified for bank loans.
More than 7,000 individuals, the majority of them children, live in homes purchased through the ACTS Program. Children living in owner occupied homes perform better in school. Neighborhoods where families are homeowners form more stable communities.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of the U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Board of Directors
Benjamin Y. Engel, Owner/President of J.F. Cook Construction, Inc.
Autumn Latimore, Assistant Director/Public Relations of Northwestern Mutual
Margaret Keehn, Sales Manager of GE Healthcare
Program Committee Chair
John Linnen, Retired Senior Vice President of M&I Bank, Board Treasurer
Finance Committee Chair
John Weitzer, Wealth Advisor & Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Private Bank
Development Committee Chair
John Worm, Retired Senior Advisor to ACTS Housing
Real Estate Brokerage
Financial Coaching and Homebuyer Counseling
Housing Counseling Manager
Our ServicesWe provide low-income families with financial counseling, help them through the home buying process, and then assist them in the rehabilitation of their home.
Rehab Planning and Management
Nou Yeng Lee
Ramon R. Guadarrama
Father Dennis Lewis