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News February 10, 2021

Reinvestment News Winter 2021: Expanding educational opportunities and more

Topic General

Dear friends,

2020 was a challenging and full year. For Reinvestment Fund, the year included launching relief programs to respond to the economic hardships resulting from the pandemic. We leaned in as a dependable financing partner to help impactful projects stay on track and we continued to explore research-driven solutions for pressing policy issues, particularly around eviction. As our nation continues to grapple with the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic, we are grateful for the collaborations and support that have been crucial to helping people and places in need. We closed 2020 with $205 million in community investments.

In the Philadelphia region, we provided $6.7 million in grants to 416 providers to minimize the loss of capacity and expertise in the early childhood education sector so that children and families continue to have access to quality early learning opportunities once this crisis has passed. In rural Immokalee, FL we are collaborating with regional and national partners to finance education facilities that will expand programs serving local youth. And in Central Baltimore, we are working with local partners to restore the Robbins Dancing building to house two important nonprofits: Code in the Schools, which is focused on STEM education for public schools, and Young Audiences of Maryland, a 70-year-old arts education organization. Our research continues to shine a light on evictions to support and inform ongoing efforts to reduce its effects on households and communities. Our analyses underscore the outsized impact the current health and economic crises are having on the same groups of people who were already more likely to face an eviction filing.

And as an organization, we continue to work to understand and dismantle the myriad manifestations of entrenched racism and discrimination, by building equity through our work and in our workplace. As our partners and investors, we invite you to hold us accountable and share your feedback. Join us as together we build equitable and resilient communities, where everyone can thrive and prosper.

Don Hinkle-Brown
President & CEO
Reinvestment Fund

Expanding Educational Opportunities

The Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) is developing a new Career and Advanced Technology Center to expand opportunities for career-based education and cutting-edge training in automotive technology, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare. Located at its satellite campus in West Philadelphia, the new Center will serve adults seeking to upgrade their skills and those currently unemployed or underemployed. Reinvestment Fund is collaborating with several partners to finance the new facility that will also provide after-school and STEM opportunities for students at five surrounding Philadelphia public schools. CCP serves over 29,000 students each year—a vast majority are students of color and 63% are women. More than half are first-generation college students and 80% are eligible to receive federal Pell grants. The majority (93%) of students are Philadelphia residents and over 80% of CCP graduates remain employed in the region. Read more.

Investing in Local Entrepreneurs

Small, early-stage or start-up housing developers typically work in their local communities and can have an outsized impact on stabilizing neighborhoods and driving growth. By supporting these mighty but often undercapitalized entrepreneurs, we can help them build wealth, grow their capacity and increase the affordable housing inventory in markets. This past year, Reinvestment Fund helped finance projects led by women, Black and brown individuals, and other historically marginalized housing developers. In Baltimore, People Homesteading Group (PHG) is a nonprofit with a mission to revitalize communities by rehabilitating and selling vacant houses. Our financing is helping PHG continue to develop affordable for-sale homes on a block where its previous efforts have already attracted 14 first-time homeowners. We collaborated with Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) to finance a demonstration project by Backyard ATL that is building Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in low- to moderate-income communities. ADUs are small detached, residential structures behind the primary residences on single-family lots. The model creates two units of affordable housing for every ADU built–the backyard owned rental unit and the preservation of the principal residence, allowing existing residents to reap the benefits of neighborhood improvement.

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News & Resources

News: New federal study suggests that Black and non-white Hispanic borrowers would be able to accrue more wealth if barriers for refinancing were reduced.

News: America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative announces $3 million in financial assistance awards to 20 food access projects.

News: Congratulations 215 People’s Alliance and Tenant Union Representative Network (TURN) on receiving Reinvestment Fund’s Community Champion Award, which honors their extraordinary efforts to support families and communities in Philadelphia, particularly in response to COVID-19.

News: Reinvestment Fund is selected as one of 150 organizations globally to receive the 2021 Real Leaders Impact AwardSee all awardees.

News: Reinvestment Fund welcomes the Open Access/REAP Program’s Fellow, Steven McClendon. Steven will be working with our NMTC team to bring high-impact projects to communities across the nation.

Resource: West Philadelphia renters face a growing risk of displacement. The trend is among several detailed in a new report from Third District Councilmember Jamie Gauthier’s office, Reinvestment Fund, and Urban Spatial.

News: Reinvestment Fund, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launches the Building Healthier, More Equitable  Communities (BHEC) initiative, which aims to spur equitable development and healthy communities in four NJ cities—Asbury Park, Camden, Newark, and Paterson.

News: S&P Global Ratings affirms Reinvestment Fund’s ‘A+’ issuer credit rating.

News: New blog from the Build Health Places Network highlights how cross-sector and resident leaders in Invest Health cities are working towards building healthier communities, and sustaining community engagement and partnerships despite COVID-19.

Resource: Research by Reinvestment Fund and the Housing Initiative at Penn examines the experiences and perspectives of residential landlords in the face of challenges including how they dealt with evictions and engaged with programs aimed at stabilizing tenants in rental housing.

Resource: New Reinvestment Fund analysis looks at what parents were doing for childcare before the onset of COVID-19, how that changed, and what parents’ priorities are in getting kids back into childcare.

News: Unable to afford crucial home repairs and maintenance, many low-income homeowners are left in unsafe homes. Reinvestment Fund and the Greensboro, NC, Invest Health team share the story of one homeowner’s path to getting help in Shelterforce.

Resource: The NEW PolicyMap is live with a state-of-the-art mapping platform making it even easier to find visualize neighborhood-level data.

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