Milwaukee Common Council urged to accept federal funds for rent assistance

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — The pandemic has created a housing crisis in Milwaukee as people who have lost income struggle to pay their rent. 

On Monday, Feb. 8, Milwaukee’s Common Council was challenged to take action.

“If we are serious about taming the pandemic, elected officials must do everything they can,” said MATC student Katherine MacDonald. 

MacDonald says she’d be homeless if not for a rent assistance program. 

She and others called on the council to accept $17 million from the federal government to help struggling renters. 

The council votes Tuesday, Feb. 9.

“I don’t use this phrase very often, but it is a no-brainer,” said Colleen Foley, executive director of the Legal Aid Society. “It is not close whatsoever. It’s a game-changer for families who need to stay out of eviction court.”

“I believe that the council will do the right thing tomorrow and making sure that we accept this money, this federal money so that we can make sure that citizens in our city — the neediest people in our city — have the opportunity to benefit and stay in their homes,” said Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson. 

The speakers also urged members of Congress to approve President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.