Community celebrates state-of-the-art renewal of Lapham Park senior apartments

Milwaukee Courier


Mayor Tom Barrett, Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr, Alderwoman Milele Coggs and other dignitaries joined the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee in celebrating the grand re-opening of Lapham Park on December 20, 2013. Lapham Park, which has provided affordable housing to Milwaukeeans since 1964, has undergone a complete renovation, including a gut rehabilitation to create 201 apartments with substantially improved accessibility for the building’s elderly population and vastly increased energy efficiency to lower building maintenance costs.“Lapham Park has been important to thousands of Milwaukeeans seeking affordable and high-quality housing as they age,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.“The revitalization of Lapham Park ensures that this vital resource will continue to be available to future generations.”Catherine Vance, president of the Lapham Park Resident Organization, praised the investment in the building and the neighborhood: “We all need to look after each other, and I am grateful for the ways you are looking after the residents of Lapham Parks."

The Housing Authority used a mixed-finance development approach to finance the project with funding and investment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA); PNC Bank, National Association; Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; PyraMax Bank, FSB; the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; Focus on Energy; and the Wisconsin Arts Board.“We are thankful to the many partners who joined us in the effort to reinvest in Lapham Park,” said Housing Authority Secretary- Executive Director Tony Pérez.

"It takes many hands to complete a complex project such as this, and they all played a part in this success.”The renovations included a gut rehab to achieve the highest standards for accessibility; a new covered residential entry complete with a green roof; upgraded elevators and a new hospital type elevator to improve speed and access to all floors; new sunlit common areas; and updated mechanical devices in resident units, including the addition of central air conditioning and individual thermostats. State –of-the-art technologies were included to increase energy efficiency. A mechanism in the windows shuts off individual apartment heating and cooling systems when windows are opened, giving residents greater control of their thermal comfort while ensuring that energy is not wasted.

The physical renovations and accessibility improvements are helping to further the mission of the Lapham Park Venture, a nationally-recognized model of comprehensive care that helps low-income seniors to age in the community longer instead of prematurely moving into more expensive nursing home care. The Venture is estimated to save more than $1 million in annual Medicaid nursing home costs.“I would like to acknowledge our partners in the Lapham Park Venture, which brings together public and non-profit services to create and sustain a continuing care retirement community that improves quality of life for seniors,” said Common Council President and Housing Authority Chairman Willie L. Hines, Jr. Long-time partners in the Lapham Park Venture include the Lapham Park Resident Organization, Milwaukee County Department on Aging, SET Ministry, Marquette University School of Nursing, Milwaukee County Family Care, Goodwill, and the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee provides affordable housing options to more than 10,000 Milwaukee families. In addition, the Housing Authority works with families to achieve self-sufficiency through economic, health and social programs.

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