Since 1995, over 3,500 families have successfully become homeowners after using some or all of Acts Housing’s programs and services. According to a 2023 study* of property record data, Acts families have found long-term sustainability in homeownership.
Lower Foreclosure Rates
Foreclosures are 45% lower among Acts families in Milwaukee than in the same neighborhoods overall. The average annual foreclosure rate for Acts alumni was 0.84% from 1995-2022. In the same neighborhoods overall, it was 1.54%.
Even during the foreclosure crisis (between 2007-2016), 14% of all houses in the City experienced at least one foreclosure, while only 9% of Acts homeowners faced foreclosure.
Long-term Stability and Affordability
Half of Acts homebuyers still own their home 14 years after closing and more than a quarter still own the same home after 25 years!
In 2019, Milwaukee’s median rent was $988/month; Acts families who purchased that year were paying, on average, $665/month for principal, interest, taxes, and insurance on their homes. Assuming 3% annual inflation on rent, those renters have paid $17,640 more for housing over the last four years than the Acts owners, and the homeowners have built over $30k in equity.
Acts homeowners understand the value of an affordable fixed-interest mortgage, and benefit from the monthly cost savings, as well as the wealth they build over time.
Of the 3,500+ Acts families who’ve become homeowners, 70% still own their original home, with another 21% parting with their property in a voluntary transaction, often meaning they’ve moved from their “starter home” to another owner-occupied home.
Owner-occupancy is a crucial indicator of neighborhood stability, and 90% of the families who still own their original home remain owner-occupiers.
*Acts Housing commissioned Big Lake Data to create the Alumni Outcomes report in 2023. The project, led by Matt Schumwinger and John Johnson analyzed data from 1991-2022 and summarized that three decade’s worth of property record data reveals positive and improving trends for Acts alumni.
John Johnson is a research fellow at Marquette University Law School in the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. You can access his city-wide research here.