Milwaukee

How one man uses his passion to create affordable housing in Milwaukee – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-10-08 07:00:24 –

“I knew that housing was the key to stability, both personally and professionally, so when I learned that there was a way to support that effort and make a living, I immediately took that path. We’re starting to walk, “says Que El-Amin. (File photo by Sue Vliet)

Que El-Amin comes from a family who believes in serving others.

His grandfather fought in Louisiana for African-American voting rights. His father ran the New Horizon Center, a social services agency and day care center in Milwaukee. And his mother is a mental health therapist.

But when he felt that social welfare was not the best path for him, he found another way to follow in the footsteps of his family. It’s through the house.

El-Amin combined his passion for architecture with his need for service by creating affordable homes in some of Milwaukee’s most economically difficult areas.

“I grew up in Milwaukee, I saw how it changed,” Elamine said.

El-Amin is building 43 affordable town homes in North 37NS Street and West Village Door Avenue. And last summer, he launched a $ 60 million project to turn the former Briggs & Stratton Industrial Land on West Center and North 33rd Avenue into about 200 apartments when it opens next year.

From the neighborhood

El Amin, 36, grew up in the neighborhood of Billard Avenue and said he knew how important it was to have decent and affordable homes in the area.

After earning a degree in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005, he began his career in residential real estate through co-founding. Scott Crawford Co., Ltd. In 2007.

“I knew that housing was the key to stability, both personally and professionally, so when I learned that there was a way to support that effort and make a living, I immediately I started on that path, “he said.

Being a developer is one of the many hats El-Amin wears in everyday life.

He also co-founded with his younger brother Harif. Young enterprising society, Or YES, is running several programs for Milwaukee students and young entrepreneurs.

“We love being able to give others the opportunity,” he said. “Milwaukee is a difficult place to grow, so it feels good to see people make a living from their ideas and see them start a business and graduate from college.”

El Amin loves Milwaukee, but he wants to see the city get better.

“We are mediocre and okay,” he said. “As a city, we rarely do the best in the world. When we see places like New York City and Chicago, they strive for the best in the world. Do your best. Must be. “

A colleague says his greatest asset may be his kindness.

“He’s one of the hardest-working people I know,” said Greg Meyer, Elamine’s mentor and one of the first to invest in one of his projects. “But in addition to the ability and ability to move the business forward, he is a really great person.”

An avid traveler, El Amin said New York City is one of his favorite cities because of its tall buildings. He also named Washington DC as another name. This is because Washington DC was one of the first places I’ve seen blacks in a place I’ve never seen before.

His mother, Amatura Umlani, said that traveling well was one of the best qualities of her son.

“It gives him the opportunity to be with people of various socio-economic positions,” she said.

“He lives the wildest dream of us (his parents),” Umrani said. “He’s doing something I never imagined.”

I also do Elamine Photo and video shoot, Both local and during his trip. He once even moved to Dallas for a short film.

And Elamine said there was more to do.

“I think I have big new goals to achieve every day,” he said.

“It sounds cliché, but I learned that you have to be consistent and tenacious to reach your goals,” he said. “You have to work with it every day, and that also means weekends, holidays and birthdays.”

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