NCB Capital Impact Receives Coveted Social Innovation Award for its Cornerstone Partnership Initiative

$2 Million Award Will Enable Capital Impact to Strengthen and Expand Affordable Homeownership Effort

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An innovative effort that could make affordable and sustainable homeownership a reality for millions of Americans received a major boost today with a $2 million award from the Corporation for Community and National Service.

The award will advance the work of Capital Impact's Cornerstone Partnership Initiative, a network of sustainable homeownership programs that preserve long-term affordability and community stability, help more hard-working people buy homes today, maintain those homes and keep them affordable in the future. By adopting common principles, sharing best practices, and providing tools and resources, the partnership aims to help governments and nonprofits stretch their dollars further to help more people realize the dream of homeownership.

"The ultimate goal of this work is to transform the way that local, state and federal agencies invest scarce public funds to support homeownership for lower income families," commented Rick Jacobus, Director of Capital Impact's Cornerstone Partnership initiative. "By preserving the public investment, these programs will increase the number of families served without additional public investment," he added.  

The $2 million grant will be used over a two year period: $4 million for sub-grants; and $1 million for technical assistance, evaluation and administration. This will be matched 1:1.2 with $6 million in private funding, including significant support from Capital Impact's diverse philanthropic partners. Other key implementation partners include the National Community Land Trust Network, Habitat for Humanity International, Urban Institute, NeighborWorks® America, and Housing Partnership Network.

"Homeownership remains an important pillar of the American dream and an important avenue to the middle class," says Jerry Maldonado, Program Officer at the Ford Foundation. "While the Great Recession has threatened many of the gains we made in closing the racial wealth and homeownership gap, the Cornerstone Partnership's work demonstrates that there are safe and effective strategies for expanding housing choices in a way that helps families build wealth, stabilizes communities, and uses public, private and philanthropic resources far more effectively."

"The Social Innovation Fund demonstrates that the federal government – working in partnership with nonprofit organizations, municipal governments, private philanthropies, and others – can be an innovative and effective catalyst for tackling some of our most pressing challenges," said Paul Carttar, Director, Social Innovation Fund, Corporation for National and Community Service.  "I congratulate NCB Capital Impact for receiving this award through this rigorous, highly competitive process."

For the first time in decades, the nationwide homeownership rate is falling. It is increasingly clear that millions of low-income families have entered ownership in ways that are unsustainable. Homeownership remains a top economic aspiration for the majority of renters—and with good reason. Homeownership has been critical to accessing quality neighborhoods with strong schools and is the primary way low-income individuals have built assets. For this reason, federal, state and local governments spend billions annually on programs intended to promote homeownership. But the overall impact of this investment is still unclear.

"The good news is that we know how to structure public investment in homeownership to generate sustainable economic improvement for low-income families," said Terry Simonette, President & CEO of NCB Capital Impact.

A growing number of local programs have adopted a transformative new approach that generates lasting measurable outcomes. Where most traditional programs offer one-time grants to buyers, long term affordability programs involve a government or nonprofit agency acting as a co-investor with a new homebuyer, injecting substantial public funds to reduce homeownership costs.

To address this need, the initiative will: 1) provide grants to between seven and 10 organizations annually, bringing these programs to the next level of growth, capacity and impact; 2) provide comprehensive technical assistance to grantees; and 3) support grantees in implementing our existing Sector Performance Datasystem in order to more effectively track program outcomes.

About NCB Capital Impact:
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a national, non-profit community development finance institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality housing, health care, healthy foods, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.6 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. www.ncbcapitalimpact.org 

About the Social Innovation Fund:
The Social Innovation Fund is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service that improves the lives of people in low-income U.S. communities.   Through an innovative public-private partnership, the Social Innovation Fund and selected local and national grantmakers co-invest in programs that increase the scale of community-based solutions that have evidence of real impact in the areas of youth development, economic opportunity or healthy futures.  Every Federal dollar invested is matched with private funds, and all programs are rigorously evaluated. As a result, the most effective approaches can be expanded to reach more people in need and key lessons can be captured and broadly shared.  To learn more visit www.NationalService.gov/Innovation.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service:

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

SOURCE NCB Capital Impact



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