Live Work Play Incentives

Near West Side Partners is excited to offer down payment and rental incentives to employees of Near West Side businesses who would like to live in the Near West Side. The Live, Work, Play Homeownership Incentive program provides funding to help prospective homeowners purchase homes they will occupy as their primary residence. Forgivable down payment incentives of $3,000 are available to assist eligible home-buyers with the purchase of homes in the seven Near West Side neighborhoods. Participants will receive both financial and technical assistance as part of the program.

If you are interested in calling the Near West Side home but are not yet ready to buy, the Live, Work, Play Rental Incentive is for you. Employees of Near West Side businesses are eligible for a $500 rental incentive when they sign a lease with any certified Good Neighbor landlord.

This program is administered by Near West Side Partners, with support from ACTS Housing, Housing Resources, Inc. and Associated Bank.


Homeownership Incentives

To qualify for a Homeownership Incentive, the applicant must:

  • Be employed at Near West Side business;

  • Agree to purchase a home in one of the seven the Near West Side neighborhoods;

  • Agree to occupy that home as their primary residence; and

  • Agree to participate in home buyer education program.


My husband and I live and work in the Near West Side. We love the character of our neighborhood, the beautiful historic homes, and the option to bike or walk to work!
— Barbara, Historic Concordia neighbor

1. Submit application materials to Near West Side Partners. Review and complete the program application and disclosure agreement and send it by email to NWSP at

2. NWSP verifies your employment status with your human resources department. NWSP will review your completed application and confirm your employment status with your company. NWSP is seeking only to confirm that you are employed at the stated company and will not ask for information outside of that detailed in the disclosure agreement.

3. Qualified applicants receive an eligibility letter and information for housing resource provider. Once your employment status has been verified, you will receive an eligibility letter and the contact information for ACTS Housing and Housing Resources, Inc. You determine which housing resource provider is the best fit and schedule a time to meet with them.

4. Work with housing resource provider to complete a home buyer readiness program, assess financial readiness and begin the home buying process. In order to be eligible for the homeownership incentive, all applicants must complete a home buyer readiness course. No matter where you are in the process or how much experience you might have, these resources are valuable. The housing resource provider is a great partner that may be able to help you identify even more down-payment assistance resources!

5. Find your Near West Side dream home and work with a lender to complete the home-buying process. You select your preferred agent and lender to complete the home-buying process. Not sure who to work with? Don’t worry - your housing resource provider can help connect you with reputable agents and lenders! Remember, this incentive is available only for homes purchased in the Near West Side. If you are not sure if the home you love in in one of the seven Near West Side neighborhoods, please refer to the map on this page and/or email NWSP at

6. Prior to closing, contact NWSP to verify compliance with requirements. Once you have identified your dream home and have set a closing date, please contact NWSP. NWSP will communicate with the housing resource provider to confirm completion of the readiness program and prepare the check for closing. Please contact NWSP at least two weeks prior to closing to ensure the incentive check is prepared in time for the big day.

7. Home closing and presentation of homeownership incentive. You will receive your incentive check at the time of your closing.

8. Celebrate! You are now a Near West Side neighbor and part of Milwaukee’s most vibrant communities. Move in, get settled, and then find out how you can get involved here!

Not Ready to Buy? Check out the Live Work Play Rental Incentive!

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In order to qualify for a Rental Incentive, the applicant must:

  • Be employed at Near West Side business;

  • Agree to sign a new one-year lease with a Good Neighbor property; and

  • Agree to occupy the leased unit as their primary residence during the lease term.


1. Sign a lease with any Good Neighbor designated property. Search for Good Neighbor properties here and work with the rental company to complete an application and sign a lease. The rental incentive is valid only for one year leases signed in 2019 with landlords that have received the NWSP Good Neighbor designation.

2. Submit a copy of your signed lease to NWSP. Complete the application and disclosure forms and drop off a copy of your lease at the NWSP office or email both to NWSP will verify the lease with the landlord and prepare your incentive check.

3. Move in and celebrate! NWSP will present your incentive check on the day the lease starts (or a day agreed upon after the start-date). Celebrate your new home and status as a Near West Side neighbor, and check out how you can get involved with the community here!