Jobs & Economics

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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MICAH announces HUD Investigation of Westlawn Redevelopment Hiring Record

It has been two years since MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope, Inc) began their efforts to bring attention to the contracting and hiring practices of the Westlawn project on Milwaukee’s northwest side. MICAH has taken steps to find out what recruitment, training, and hiring policies were followed under the administrative oversight of the Housing Authority of the city of Milwaukee (HACM) and the actual results in hiring community residents, during the first $80 million phase of the Westlawn redevelopment project.

On March 6, 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity announced that during the week of March 18, they would be conducting a formal review of HACM’s compliance with HUD Section 3 rules.

MICAH president Rev. Willie Brisco stated in 2011, “We want to send a message to our city officials and council persons that this is a moral issue.”

Members of MICAH declared the Westlawn site “holy ground” two years ago. MICAH believes government must play a role in monitoring the investments that are intended to create economic benefit in Milwaukee. “We welcome the investigation of Section 3 compliance by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.” said Barbara Wilson-Walker, co-chair of the MICAH Jobs and Economic Development Task Force. “We were told by local leaders that everything is fine, but we knew we must keep calling for the truth to be uncovered and told.”

The announcement from HUD follows an announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor in February that $17,000 in back wages and benefits were paid out to 11 workers on the Westlawn project after a DOL investigation of the project. Other wage violation investigations are ongoing.


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