Low- and moderate-income communities are focus of transformative program designed to increase homeownership, provide financial counseling, create jobs and revitalize local economies
WILMINGTON, DE., June 16, 2015 – The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to basic financial services, sustainable affordable housing and job creation for America’s working families, today announced the launch of GROWTH, an initiative designed to create new pathways to homeownership for low- and moderate-income (LMI) families.
GROWTH purchases, renovates and sells homes in LMI neighborhoods through its impact investment-driven NCRC Housing Rehab Fund. The program, uniquely designed by NCRC, in partnership with banks and other investors, will initially launch in Wilmington, Del., and then expand to a total of 10 to 15 markets.
“GROWTH represents the perfect example of how community leaders, government and financial institutions can come together around a common agenda to have a positive impact in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods,” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “GROWTH will increase the opportunity for working-class Americans to have access to affordable housing. Without the commitment of the financial institutions that have invested in GROWTH, this would not have been possible.”
The Fund has an initial offering size of $80 million with the GROWTH initiative purchasing and renovating up to four thousand single-family homes. All of the homes will be sold at affordable prices to LMI families or in LMI census tracts to others and approximately 30 percent are being made available as “lease-to-own” properties for families desiring to become homeowners but who may not currently have the high credit scores demanded by many mortgage companies.
GROWTH will provide housing and financial capability counseling through the NCRC’s Housing Counseling Network and other HUD-certified agencies. Local construction jobs and preapprenticeship opportunities will be made available for local LMI residents to work on the crews that renovate homes purchased by GROWTH.
“This announcement represents another important investment in the quality affordable housing opportunities that are vital to revitalizing neighborhoods and creating economic opportunity for Delawareans,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “I’m pleased to see the program will begin in Wilmington, where, through initiatives like the Downtown Development District and Neighborhood Building Blocks programs, we are focused on encouraging a wave of economic development. I thank everyone involved with NCRC for their tremendous commitment to affordable housing.”
LMI families, defined as those with income below 80 percent of an area’s median income, are in desperate need of affordable and secure housing options. Recent data indicates that rental housing is escalating in costs at 4 percent annually and is currently 38 percent more expensive than homeownership for comparable housing. “With homeownership at a 20-year low, the time is right to find new ways to reinvigorate the American Dream of homeownership and wealth building opportunities for families by providing sustainable, affordable mortgages,” said Ed Gorman, NCRC chief community development officer and managing director of GROWTH.
GROWTH offers investors Community Reinvestment Act credit opportunities, a return on investment and mission-focused fund management that invests with greater frequency in LMI communities than traditional equity funds.
Discover Bank, one of the first investors in GROWTH, has played a significant role in helping to bring the initiative to Delaware.
“It’s important that we invest in programs like the GROWTH initiative as it will provide Delaware LMI families with new homeownership opportunities and provide Delaware’s victims of the foreclosure crisis with the opportunity of homeownership once again,” said Jim Roszkowski, president of Discover Bank. “Helping Delaware families get back on the path to a brighter financial future has been Discover Bank’s mission since our founding.”
With a longstanding commitment to helping people achieve a brighter financial future, Discover’s ongoing support is instrumental in not only getting those impacted by the foreclosure crisis back on their feet, but also encouraging homeownership and positive economic growth for LMI families throughout Delaware.
In addition to Discover, Synchrony, TD Bank and Bank of America are among those actively supporting this initiative, nationwide.
For more information about GROWTH, homeownership opportunities, investment criteria, housing counseling and workforce training, visit: www.growthbyncrc.org
About GROWTH: GROWTH by NCRC is a first of its kind community reinvestment program that combines targeted neighborhood rehabilitation with financial counseling and job training opportunities. Through the NCRC Housing Rehab Fund, the GROWTH program purchases, renovates and sells neglected homes in low- and moderate-income communities, creating sustainable homeownership and wealth building opportunities for local families. Investors in the fund include for-profit and non-profit entities that are eligible to receive both Community Reinvestment Act credits and a return on their investment.
About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC): The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.
Crosby-Volmer International Communications