FAQ

  • What is the Transform Milwaukee initiative?

    What is WHEDA’s role in this initiative?

    How long will Transform Milwaukee continue?

    How are the results captured and measured?

    Is this solely a state initiative?

    How many jobs is Transform Milwaukee projecting to create?

    What types of products and/or programs does WHEDA have to support Transform Milwaukee?

    How is the community involved in Transform Milwaukee?

    1) What is the Transform Milwaukee initiative?

    Transform Milwaukee is a comprehensive, public-private initiative that leverages Milwaukee’s workforce, industrial strengths and transportation assets to expand community investments, increase business development, boost job creation and strengthen neighborhoods.

    The five key Transform Milwaukee strategies are:

    • Expand business development and innovation with new and existing financing resources to spur job creation.
    • Reduce the number of foreclosed and vacant properties to make neighborhoods more desirable for housing and business development.
    • Foster partnerships between state agencies and nonprofit community groups to increase job training, skill enhancement and educational opportunities.
    • Create storm water runoff conveyance systems – bio swales – as an alternative to storm sewers to prevent future flooding events.
    • Direct resources to established intermodal transportation infrastructure – water, air, rail and highway systems.

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    2)  What is WHEDA’s role in this initiative?

    WHEDA has been and always will be committed to Milwaukee, as well as the state of Wisconsin. Historically, the contributions of WHEDA to Milwaukee have been significant, totaling more than $2 billion over the past 40 years.

    Governor Walker and WHEDA understand Wisconsin’s economic vitality is dependent upon a vibrant Milwaukee. WHEDA has always recognized Milwaukee’s key role in the state’s economic well-being. With its 40-year history and institutional knowledge, WHEDA is well-equipped to lead an effort of this magnitude.

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     3) How long will Transform Milwaukee continue?

    Discussions are underway to see how the momentum from the initiative’s first two years’ success can be further built upon to spur continued investment and growth in the Transform Milwaukee area. Ideally, there would be no ‘expiration date’ on this initiative with a plan to keep Milwaukee economically vibrant.

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     4) How are the results captured and measured?

    The Transform Milwaukee Strategic Action Plan will inform a series of quantitative and qualitative measurements of success for each action item. The evaluation of the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan will become apparent as appropriate data is collected and maintained. Measures will be selected based on their ability to reflect change during the transformation process and on the capacity for participating agencies to collect applicable data for monitoring.

    WHEDA is also working with several key state agencies (Department of Workforce Development, Department of Children and Families, Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, Department of Administration and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) to identify a baseline and monitor a number of demographic categories in the Transform Milwaukee area.

    Monetary investments in the Transform Milwaukee area are being measured and captured on a monthly basis.

     5) Is this solely a state initiative?

    While WHEDA administers the Transform Milwaukee initiative, the progress we’ve made so far would not have been possible without the engagement and commitment from a multitude of terrific partners. There, of course, is the city of Milwaukee that is playing a major role. State agencies like Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC), Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Workforce Development (DWD), and Department of Transportation (DOT).

    Additional partners include financial institutions, community groups, minority chambers, industrial parks, business owners, economic development corporations, educational institutions, developers, and faith organizations. WHEDA also has used its economic development tools like tax credits, venture capital, micro-equity, and specific loan guarantees to revitalize the TM area. WHEDA has been consistently taking partners and potential partners on tours of the area and holding special presentations in the hopes of recruiting additional lender and investor involvement.

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     6) How many jobs is Transform Milwaukee projecting to create?

    Beginning in 2014 all Commercial Lending loan recipients for Transform Milwaukee will be required to report their job creation information on an annual basis, as well as at the time of application.

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     7) What types of products and/or programs does WHEDA have to support Transform Milwaukee?

    • New Markets Tax Credits
    • Participation Loan Program
    • Small Business Guarantees
    • Multifamily Housing Programs
    • Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
    • Single Family Loans
    • WHEDA Housing Foundation Grants

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     8) How is the community involved in Transform Milwaukee?

    There is a Collective Impact group, made up of several engaged nonprofit organizations – ranging from faith-based organizations, minority community groups, business parks, etc. The Collective Impact group seeks to reflect and represent the local community as they develop a common agenda aligned with the Transform Milwaukee strategic initiatives.

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