Federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is criticizing Governor Scott Walker for steering about $25 million of Wisconsin's share of a national mortgage settlement into the current state budget.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has been urging Walker since last year to send more of the money over to Milwaukee, to help more people keep their homes and for the city to deal with abandoned houses. During a visit to Milwaukee today, HUD Secretary Donovan added his concerns.
“That's something that I think was a real mistake, and if there's any chance to reverse that decision, or to find other funding to put into these initiatives, I would urge the governor to do that.”
Donovan says in other parts of the nation, the settlement money has helped stabilize neighborhoods. A few months ago Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen did release a smaller sum to Milwaukee, and has argued that a lot of the initial share of Wisconsin's money helped city residents.