Zilber Neighborhood Initiative

Since 2008, the Foundation has awarded more than $70 million in support of coordinated, place based efforts to improve the quality of life in three Milwaukee neighborhoods: Lindsay Heights, Clarke Square, and Layton Boulevard West. In 2019, the Foundation renewed its commitment to ZNI neighborhoods. Lead agencies in each neighborhood convene residents and local leaders in the design and implementation of neighborhood improvement strategies. Grants target quality, affordable housing and community economic development projects and programs where there is alignment with resident and community priorities, capacity to drive measurable change, and opportunity to scale solutions.

Grant Seekers

Learn more about ZNI Neighborhoods


Housing provides a foundation for health and wellbeing. Safe, affordable housing leads to improvements in individual and neighborhood stability and prosperity. When families have stable housing, their children perform better in school; seniors age in place and remain connected to their communities; and mental health improves across all ages. Stable housing is a building block from which individuals and neighborhoods grow and prosper. Under our Housing program area, we support organizations focused on:

• Providing access to secure homeownership
• Improving property conditions
• Preserving affordable rental housing

Community Economic Development

Communities that are safe, economically diverse places to live and work have a mix of local businesses, vibrant commercial corridors, and strong networks to connect residents to jobs and financial resources. Coordinated efforts to restore economic wellbeing and quality of life lead to improved financial stability, social well-being, and improved quality and value of neighborhood assets. Under our Community Economic Development program area, we support organizations and programs focused on:

• Improving commercial corridors
• Supporting small business development
• Expanding financial education and skill building