In 2016, the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative worked with residents to create a Neighborhood Improvement District focus on home repairs. The Harambee Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) is a quasi-governmental entity run by a board of elected residents. The NID assesses $50/unit per year (for up to 10 units per parcel) to the property taxes of all residential property within the NID boundaries and pools that money to fund a home repair GRANT. Assessments will be added to property tax bills distributed at the end of 2017.
This grant is eligible to all property owners within the boundaries but prioritizes owner-occupants with demonstrated financial need. The goal of the program is to provide much needed home repair resources to neighbors and home repair jobs to underemployed residents. Eligible repairs included exterior items such as roofs, siding, windows, doors, & painting and interior items such as plumbing & electrical.
Since the NID’s creation by the City of Milwaukee, Riverworks has acted as an interim administrative agency providing administrative and fiscal support to help the NID become established and elect a board of directors. Six board members were elected on August 23rd: Cordella Jones, Glen Mattison, Ella Bennett, Danita Graham, Todd Slusar and Rebecca Ollison. At the first meeting, the first four members were elected officers as Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary respectively.
Since their election, the board has been hard at work establishing the policies and procedures of the NID in order to begin administering the grant in Spring of 2018. Meetings of the Harambee NID Board of Directors have been set for the 2nd Tuesday of every month in the King Commerce Center at 2745 N Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The Annual Meeting to elect a new board of Directors will also be held on Saturday, February 3rd. Stay tuned for more details!