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White House rolls out measures aimed at lowering cost of housing, increasing supply

The White House is taking steps aimed at increasing the the supply of affordable housing while also bolstering protections for renters.

The housing measures announced Thursday include providing communities with $85 million in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce barriers to affordable housing, such as zoning restrictions that in some places have become a hurdle to increasing the supply and density of affordable housing. HUD would provide grants upwards of $10 million.

“HUD recognizes that communities have unique housing challenges and that’s why the resources announced today are not one-size-fits-all,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “Today, we are acting to increase the supply of affordable housing, which is crucial to lowering housing costs. We look forward to continuing this work in partnership with local communities.”

The White House also announced that it was forming an inter-agency task force to develop ways to fund efforts to convert more commercial buildings to residential housing, especially zero emissions and affordable units. Across the country, office-to-housing conversions are being pursued as a potential lifeline for struggling downtown business districts that emptied out during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The mismatch between the demand for housing and the inadequate supply of affordable and available homes is at the heart of today’s housing affordability crisis,” Dennis Shea, executive director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, said in a statement.

These measures are part of a larger effort by the White House to address a chronic housing shortage, with the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimating the nation needs 7.3 million affordable rental homes to make up

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Milwaukee garden; teens cultivate plants, peace, prosperity

It started as a space for Black teenagers to stay busy, but has flourished into so much more. Peace, plants, and people prosper at a garden at 13th and Reservoir in Milwaukee.

 “I just like being in here,” said Deonta Williams. “Working and helping the community.”

 Teenagers are picking a positive path.

“It gets me away from all the stuff that’s happening in the world, I suppose,” said Jace Perry. “It’s so violent.”

Teens like Perry are eager to make their neighborhoods a better place. They help keep the garden in good condition.

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“I just love working here, honestly,” said Perry.

This is CAGE – Community Agricultural Growing Experience. The initiative is the vision of Andre Lee Ellis.

“As long as they have their hands in the soil, they can keep them off the trigger of a gun,” said Ellis.

Ellis talked with FOX6 News from his home as he recovers from surgery. The garden provides life lessons and a positive way for teenagers to pass time.

“It teaches them they can put one plant in the ground, and they can feed 50 people,” said Ellis.

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Eliis is also the founder of the We Got This Garden at 9th and Ring. He uses nature to educate and inspire black boys.

“We grow fresh basil, fresh lettuce,” said Williams.

 Williams loves tending to the soil and meeting other young people.

“It’s just a good environment in general,” said Williams.

 Plants and young men are growing together.

“Out here, just

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