New plan announced to rid city of foreclosed homes

CREATED Sep 15, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Tom Barrett maintains the city can't afford to let the problem get any worse.

On Sunday, the mayor announced a $11.7 million plan to clean up and flip more than 1,000 tax-foreclosed properties the city has accumulated over the past several years.
These are homes where people stopped paying property taxes - not necessarily their mortgages.
"That has an impact on the city, the county, the school system, the sewers," Barrett told TODAY'S TMJ4. "Those taxes that used to be paid by those property owners aren't being paid anymore."
Barrett says the city's potentially missing out on millions, and it's a relatively recent problem. In 2007, the city only foreclosed 79 properties. Now, it controls 1,026.
The proposal, called Strong Neighborhoods Investment Plan, would be part of the 2014 city budget. If approved, it would mean an $7.6 million increase to tax-foreclosed maintenance. 
The mayor explains the money would restore some homes or raze others - all in an attempt to make those homes livable again - and attractive to potential homeowners.
Barrett will pitch the rest of his budget plans to the Common Council later this month.