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U.S. Bank Partners with City of Milwaukee to Revitalize Neighborhoods

""U.S. Bank"":http://www.usbank.com has announced several new initiatives to support the city of Milwaukee in its efforts to stabilize hard-hit communities through the ""Neighborhood Stabilization Program"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/communitydevelopment/programs/neighborhoodspg (NSP) initiated by HUD, with the bank agreeing to provide over $16 million in funding.

Mayor Tom Barrett said, ""Foreclosed and vacant properties present significant challenges for Milwaukee and other communities throughout the country. It takes cooperative efforts including government, the private sector, and residents to address the issues. I am pleased U.S. Bank continues its partnerships to mitigate the negative impacts of foreclosures, and I thank U.S. Bank for its continuing commitment.""

U.S. Bank will set up a $1 million U.S. Bank Community Restoration Fund to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed properties in the city's designated NSP zones. This revolving loan fund, at 0 percent interest, will be made available to select neighborhood developers working in such areas as Layton Boulevard, Sherman Park, and Lindsay Heights to provide a source short term capital that they can quickly access.

Maria Prioletta, Milwaukee's redevelopment and special projects manager, says the fund will give smaller developers the financing they need to purchase properties as they come onto the market, rehab them, and get the homes into the hands of qualified borrowers quicker.


""The revolving aspect of U.S. Bank's loan pool will allow the funds to be reinvested, ultimately going above and beyond their $1 million commitment,"" Prioletta said.

U.S. Bank is also taking a lead role in the development of two additional loan pools; one with the city of Milwaukee and one with Select Milwaukee that will provide additional funding for home revitalization efforts.

In addition, U.S. Bank will commit up to $15 million in mortgages to qualified borrowers in NSP zones over the next four years. One of the products offered will be U.S. Bank's signature American Dream Program that allows for lower down payments and an option to add funds for repairs.

Lisa Glover, SVP and director of community affairs for U.S. Bank, notes that the two newly announced initiatives are in addition to the work the bank is already doing to rebuild communities in collaboration with nonprofit housing partners in Milwaukee.

U.S. Bank has played a principal role in Take Root Milwaukee, a campaign started by Mayor Barrett to get information out to the public about tools and resources available to purchase and sustain homeownership in Milwaukee.

In 2011, U.S. Bank will give more than $240,000 in grants to housing agencies working within the city of Milwaukee, including a large regional grant to Mercy Housing for support of programs such as Cleanslate, which provides property preservation services on foreclosed properties.

Raymond Schmidt, executive director of Select Milwaukee and a member of Take Root Milwaukee, said, ""We have one common agenda and that is to turn our neighborhoods around. U.S. Bank has been on the ground and at the table with many community leaders. They have focused on designing solutions to rebuild our neighborhoods that can serve as a model for the whole country.""

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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