Fair Housing Awards were presented on Friday, April 13, 2012 during the statewide Fair Housing Update and Awards Luncheon of the Wisconsin Fair Housing Network, held at the Italian Community and Conference Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Three fair housing awards were presented in various categories from among nominations submitted in response to a statewide solicitation to over 400 organizations.
A Partnership Fair Housing Award was presented to the Center for Veterans Issues, the Milwaukee Center for Independence, the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Chase Bank, the Social Development Commission and Cardinal Capital Management for their work to address a serious housing need among those who have served in the defense and security of our nation. Our nation’s veterans with disabilities have often encountered discrimination when seeking housing. One out of six persons residing in homeless shelters is a veteran. The City of Milwaukee recognized a barrier to equal housing opportunity by including past or present membership in military service as a protected basis under its local fair housing ordinance.
However more was needed for veterans with disabilities than just protection against discrimination. The nine partners worked for several years to develop the Thomas H. Wynn, Sr., Memorial Veterans Manor, a 52-unit permanent affordable housing complex that also addresses specialized needs of the veterans’ disabilities. Some of these needs include on-site counseling provided by the Center for Veterans Issues and on-site job training provided by the Milwaukee Center for Independence. The other partners provided their housing management expertise or funding which enabled the success of the housing. This housing facility was recently named as a recipient of a Milwaukee Award for Neighborhood Development Innovation.