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Effort launched to boost home ownership in Wisconsin



MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new statewide network to help Wisconsin residents buy, fix and remain in their homes was announced Wednesday, an outgrowth of a yearlong task force that studied impediments to home ownership.

The new effort, dubbed Take Root Wisconsin, will bring together existing nonprofit leaders, housing and lending experts, state officials, local treasurers and others across the state that already work to help low and moderate income residents with housing issues.

Take Root Wisconsin’s work will be paid for initially with funding from the founding members. It will take a regionalized approach to address housing issues, according to a homeownership task force report also released Wednesday.

The goal is to reverse the declining rate of home ownership, said Brad Paul, executive director of the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association.

It will be modeled after Take Root Milwaukee, a group formed in 2009 to the foreclosure crisis. The statewide task force will work to leverage existing resources while also trying to bring in new sources of revenue and help for homeowners, said Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, who led the task force and is also a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022.

The task force also identified and developed ways to help homeowners understand property taxes and to avoid foreclosure.

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