Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Progress on public housing in Milwaukee

This is an important story that merits attention since it affects those whose needs are all too often ignored. Mayor Tom Barrett called a meeting that included County Exec Scott Walker, representatives of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development along with the Helen Bader Foundation. The topic at hand was the state of public housing for those with chronic mental illness.

The meeting, closed to the media and the public, was called in the aftermath of stories published in the Journal Sentinel that revealed the horrific living conditions of hundreds of people in Milwaukee with chronic mental illness.

The newspaper found people in the care of county psychiatric workers living in filthy rooming houses and apartments. They included places with rats, broken toilets, dangling electric wires, broken smoke detectors and no heat or running water. In some places, landlords served spoiled food that they had retrieved from other people's garbage. One woman regularly was left to sit in her own waste.

Such action is long overdue. The paper deserves credit for its series on the sorry state of public housing in the area as do those who are now cooperating to improve it.


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