Que El-Amin comes from a family that believes in serving others.
His grandfather fought for African American voting rights in Louisiana. His father ran the New Horizon Center, a Milwaukee social service agency and daycare center. And his mother is a mental health therapist.
But when he felt that social service was not the best route for him, he found another way to follow in the family’s footsteps: Through housing.
El-Amin has combined his passion for architecture with his need to serve by creating affordable housing for some of Milwaukee’s most economically challenged neighborhoods.
“I’ve grown up in Milwaukee, I’ve seen how it’s changed,” El-Amin said.
El-Amin is building 43 affordable townhomes at North 37th Street and West Villard Avenue. And last summer, he began a $60 million project that will turn a former Briggs & Stratton industrial site on West Center and North 33rd streets into about 200 apartments when it opens next year.
From the neighborhood
El-Amin, 36, grew up in the Villard Avenue neighborhood and said he knows how important is for the area to have decent and affordable housing.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005 with a graphic design degree, he began his career in residential real estate by co-founding Scott Crawford Inc. in 2007.
“I personally and professionally knew how housing is key for stability, so when I found out there was a way to assist in that effort and earn a living, I quickly started down that path,” he said.
Being a developer is one of the many hats El-Amin wears in his everyday life.
He also co-founded with his brother, Khalif, the Young Enterprising Society, or YES, which runs several programs for students and young entrepreneurs in Milwaukee.
“I love that we’ve been able to give others opportunities,” he said. “Milwaukee is a hard place to grow up in, so being able to see people making a living off their ideas and start businesses and finish college feels good.”