PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
This report is based on a participatory research project conducted in the Bram's Addition and Burr Oaks neighborhoods, located in the Southside of Madison, Wisconsin. The research team was mainly comprised of individuals with connections to South Madison with a few additional members from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). The main goal of the research was to achieve an understanding of the housing situation and the neighborhoods from multiple perspectives and to develop suggestions to improve the neighborhood and housing situation that reflect the concerns of the community.
The research team hopes that by sharing this information, other community members, organizations, and local governmental officials and staff will become their partners in learning, discussing, and working to make the necessary changes that will improve the housing situation for homeowners, tenants, and landlords and address existing issues affecting the neighborhoods.
This executive summary includes highlights of the findings and suggestions. Please turn to the individual chapters for a more detailed discussion and the last section of chapters 2, 3, and 4 for a full explanation of each of the following suggestions. Also, see chapter 5 for ideas on future research.
The qualities of the neighborhood affect how residents perceive their overall housing situation; therefore, the research team thought it was important to include questions about the neighborhood in this project.
Suggestions to improve community relations
- Sponsor more activities that increase communication and build relationships.
- Build shared leadership and collective ownership of public issues.
Suggestions to increase safety
- Improve communication and collaboration between police officers and residents.
- Increase pedestrian safety.
- Improve South Madison's image.
Suggestions to increase amenities and economic development
- Assess neighborhood programs and resources.
- Increase number and variety of employment opportunities available in the area to support the diverse workforce.
Suggestions for maintaining affordable housing in the community
- Develop strategies to ensure that quality and affordable housing is available in South Madison.
- Additional housing suggestions in chapters 3 and 4.
Suggestion to improve physical maintenance and upkeep
- Assess and increase use of current information and programs.
Suggestion to increase knowledge and involvement in revitalization plans
- Improve outreach and engagement regarding revitalization.
Suggestions to assist homeowners for staying in their homes for the long-term
- Assess property tax assistance program.
Suggestions on how to support individuals through the home buying process
- Increase the accessibility of the home buying process and assistance programs:
- develop and promote a clearinghouse for home buying materials, and
- increase mentoring of homebuyers.
- Assess current programs, assistance, and problems:
- assess current home buying programs and first time home buying seminars for effectiveness and awareness in community, and
- assess what assistance is useful to homebuyers.
- Increase residents' knowledge on issues of housing rights to address discrimination.
Suggestions on how to support home maintenance
- Make home maintenance programs more accessible to homeowners:
- assess effectiveness and increase outreach of home maintenance programs,
- develop and promote a clearinghouse for home maintenance programs,
- connect community members to home repair assistance, and
- increase knowledge of weatherproofing program that will lower utility costs.
- Create more opportunities for skill acquisition:
- create and make available classes that teach home repair skills,
- create more opportunities for local residents to share their skills with their neighbors, and
- create a tool lending library.
Suggestions to improve tenants present living situation
- Increase and maintain quality housing that is affordable in the community:
- assess effectiveness and awareness of rental assistance programs that currently exist,
- increase knowledge of existing programs and create opportunities that can assist tenants in reducing costs,
- include mix of housing in future revitalization that is energy efficient and could increase community connections, and
- create opportunities for South Madison organizations to connect.
- Create more opportunities for tenants to be part of the community.
Suggestions on how to improve landlord and tenant relations
- Conduct more research with landlords to understand their perspectives and experiences.
- Ensure that a tenant has a clear understanding of their landlord's rules and responsibilities.
- Increase presence and usage of the Tenant Resource Center and other tenant focused organizations.
Suggestions on how to support home buying for tenants
- Increase opportunities for South Madison residents to develop knowledge of home buying process and create connections with programs and housing representatives.
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Last Updated: April 3, 2008