The Friends of Housing Corporation (“Friends”) was incorporated on July 5, 1996 in the State of Wisconsin. Friends was originally set up by the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee to perform property management services for other city agencies as well as other non-profit organizations. In the beginning existing staff of the Housing Authority were used to perform the management and maintenance. The early success of the organization and the demand for continued use of this type of service as well as a desire by the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee to utilize private property management services for some of their developments led to a complete severing of all legal ties between the Housing Authority and Friends.
Friends is certified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization and in its brief history has already made several donations for college scholarships, provided gifts and food items for low-income elderly and children, provided school supplies for low-income children, and helped sponsor a conference to help low-income minorities become aware of opportunities in the medical profession. Friends also provides opportunities for employment for minorities through their own staff, and also seeks out minority contractors to provide services to Friends clients. Currently, Friends has subcontracted all janitorial, electrical, and painting to minority owned firms. Friends also has all of its locks keyed through a minority owned locksmith firm.
Friends was also a partner with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee in a successful bid to re-develop the family development at Lapham Park Housing Development into 122 new townhouses, 51 of which will be Low-Income housing tax credit units, 51 which will be funded as Low Income Public Housing Tax Credit units and 20 which will be market rate homes. Friends is the property manager for that development now called Townhomes at Carver Park listed above.
Friends has constructed new homes and sold them to low income qualified families in 2004 and 2005 with grants provided from the Community Development Block Grant Administration. Friends also undertook a major rehabilitation of a home using Community Development Block Grant funds in 2004 and rents the property to a low income qualified family.
In 2004 Friends and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee jointly were awarded a tax credit allocation to rehabilitate the Cherry Court Housing Development, a 120 unit elderly/disabled development. Friends is the property manager.
In 2004 Friends was awarded a $3,397,000 plus grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to build 36 units of elderly housing.
Previous to 1999 Friends was involved with the City of Milwaukee in managing properties that were taken by court order from the owners because of problems with illegal drug activity or ongoing building code violations that were not addressed by the owner. Friends also provided property management services for a 23 unit apartment/commercial building that was put into receivership during a foreclosure action. Friends managed the property for 18 months until it was sold.