Philadelphia is one of 16 metropolitans areas targeted by the National Fair Housing Alliance to receive funding from its $8.3 million Inclusive Communities Fund Grant Program. Four organizations in Philadelphia will receive up to $185,000 each to help people access equitable housing opportunities and promote stable, healthy and viable communities.
The Philadelphia organizations receiving funding are Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, Mount Vernon Manor CDC, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Fair Housing Rights Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
These funds were made available as part of last year’s historic settlement with Fannie Mae that provided $35 million to promote homeownership, neighborhood stabilization, access to credit, property rehabilitation and residential development.
“Too many neighborhoods have been destabilized by systemic housing discrimination. We are ready to invest in these areas to rebuild communities of color,” said Lisa Rice, president and CEO of NFHA. “By partnering with these organizations, we will revitalize block after block, the neighborhoods most impacted by the 2008 mortgage crisis and build more inclusive and equitable communities. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure everyone has access to safe, sustainable and fair housing choices and well-resourced neighborhoods.”
The Inclusive Communities Fund Grant Program invests fair housing settlement funds intended for community relief into neighborhoods or populations that have been destabilized by housing discrimination. The Inclusive Communities Fund empowers all individuals to access safe, sustainable housing of choice, creates inclusive, healthy and well-resourced neighborhoods and addresses systemic barriers that limit equitable housing opportunities for everyone.
The grants allow for NFHA partners to undertake activities that support Black and Latino communities, encourage access to housing with an emphasis on homeownership and provide critical support to communities that have been harmed by discriminatory practices. Funding will be used for:
- Down payment assistance grants that will go directly to new homeowners, including several programs that are piloting a first-generation down payment assistance program that will primarily serve Black and Latino families.
- Financial literacy and credit counseling programs.
- Implementing Special Purpose Credit Programs to expand access to quality, affordable credit for Black and Latino consumers.
- Increasing the supply of affordable units for homeownership that is available in and for Black and Latino communities.
- Expanding opportunities for long-term affordable housing by supporting new properties for community land trusts and limited-equity housing cooperatives.
- Further expanding access to credit for Black and Latino families through programs that offer more affordable mortgage products and/or credit-building accounts to income-qualified families.
- Supporting organizations to “clean and green” vacant lots by creating community gardens and other types of green space.
- Facilitating acquisition and rehabilitation of vacant homes to become affordable homeownership opportunities.
- Providing foreclosure prevention counseling and grants.
- Preventing loss of generational wealth by addressing title and heirs’ property issues.
- Providing repairs for existing homeowners so that they can remain in their homes, addressing health and safety issues and ensuring the longevity of ownership.
Other cities receiving funding are Albuquerque, Baltimore, Charleston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Louisville, Memphis, Minneapolis, Newark, Prince George’s County, Phoenix, Providence, San Diego, Tucson and Washington, D.C.