Also by Reinvestment Fund

Reinvestment News Winter 2017

Access to fresh, healthy food for all

Reinvestment Fund is honored to have been selected by USDA as the National Fund Manager for the agency’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), and we are eager to lead this national effort to invest in healthy food access, an economic engine in communities that helps create much-needed jobs and spur small business growth. As the National Fund Manager, Reinvestment Fund is committed to building a more equitable food system that supports the health and economic vibrancy of all Americans, especially those that have not benefited significantly from HFFI investment to date—including rural communities, food systems entrepreneurs, and women- and minority-owned businesses.

“We look forward to working with the USDA and other stakeholders to strengthen local economies and make it easier for all Americans to access fresh, healthy food in their communities.”

Don Hinkle-Brown
President & CEO

HOMES NOT JAIL IN SALT LAKE COUNTY

In December, Reinvestment Fund announced our fourth Pay for Success project: The Homes Not Jail program will provide services to improve housing stability and criminal justice and behavioral health outcomes for the persistently homeless in Salt Lake County Utah.

Central Baltimore Future Fund

Reinvestment Fund recently launched the Central Baltimore Future Fund with our partners—a broad coalition of Baltimore-based public, private, and nonprofit entities. This $10 million initiative will help finance neighborhood revitalization projects in Central Baltimore.
Reinvestment Fund has made $43 million in loans in Central Baltimore and will manage the CBFF. We are proud to bring this new extraordinary resource to the community and are grateful for the private, civic and philanthropic partners who have come together to build a healthier, stronger Central Baltimore.

MORE MOUNT HOLLY RESIDENTS TO COME HOME

We celebrate TRF Development Partners’ success in Mount Holly Township, NJ, where the first families moved into  Parker Green in 2016, with another eight to 10 families expected to move in 2017. Thanks to the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency for its support through the CHOICE program, which is the largest single capital source for the redevelopment effort.

Equitable Development in the Atlanta Metro

The Atlanta metro is home to 5.7 million people; it’s one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, but it also leads the nation in income inequality. The fallout of the recession has effectively created a “tale of two cities,” with low-income, minority communities geographically segregated from more affluent and gentrifying areas.

In November, Reinvestment Fund partnered with Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) and Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) to launch the Equity Atlanta Collaborative with a $4 million grant from JPMorgan Chase’s PRO Neighborhoods. Together, we are promoting equitable development that will include low-income and minority communities in the growing prosperity of the region.

We are coordinating efforts, pooling resources, developing a data-driven investment strategy, and strategically aligning our investments that fall outside of ACE and ANDP’s small business and housing scopes. For example, Reinvestment Fund recently financed the Sheltering Arms early childhood education and family center in Peoplestown, which is a target community for Equity ATL, and among the city’s most persistently distressed neighborhoods where 45% of families live in poverty.

The new center will serve 200 children. We hope future childcare investments will be further guided by data: Reinvestment Fund recently launched a study of the supply of and demand for early childhood education in Atlanta, which will identify areas where low-income families lack access to quality childcare options.

$3 MILLION AWARD TO SUPPORT CREATIVE PLACEMAKING

Reinvestment Fund was awarded a $3 million program-related investment by The Kresge Foundation to support its creative placemaking efforts in Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans. Reinvestment Fund is one of six organizations that received a total of $14 million in investments from Kresge. Read more.

Opportunity and Instability in Philly Housing Markets

Reinvestment Fund and May 8 Consulting recently published a study demonstrating the value of a “scattered site” approach to affordable housing development (as compared to the construction of apartment buildings or multi-unit townhomes). The study focused on affordable housing development by West Philadelphia Real Estate and Neighborhood Restorations, two long-time Reinvestment Fund borrowers. Our case study found that scattered site was more cost effective—it required limited public subsidy and fewer tax credits—and under certain circumstances, it has twice the impact on surrounding home sale values. We observed a 50% improvement in home sale values within the 2.5 blocks surrounding scattered site projects, compared to a 24% improvement in home prices near single site projects. For more, see the Inquirer’s coverage of our study and op-ed.

And inspired by Matthew Desmond’s new book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” Reinvestment Fund sought to quantify and map the geography of evictions in Philadelphia. We were shocked to learn that from 2010 to 2015, there have been—on average—roughly 55 eviction filings per day. Eviction rates among renter households have consistently exceeded 7% over the last six years, which is four to five times greater than foreclosure filing rates over the same period. Even controlling for income and poverty, evictions are disproportionately higher in African American neighborhoods.

In support of the City of Philadelphia’s Plan to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, PolicyMap recently added data on racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty along with HUD’s seven Opportunity Indices. Maps that overlay demographic, housing, education, health, employment, transportation, and other data can help city officials and the broader public identify patterns of previously unseen or unknown barriers to opportunity. Making these data available supports Philadelphia’s efforts to design and implement actions to actively overcome historic patterns of segregation.

REINVESTMENT FUND LAUNCHES EMPLOYEE GIVING PROGRAM

In 2016, Reinvestment Fund launched our employee giving program. The organization committed to awarding up to $15,000 to employee-nominated nonprofits for our Community Champion Award, and matching employee charitable gifts. We were pleased to announce CASA Philadelphia as our 2016 Community Champion, and match employee gifts to such causes as Philabundance, Girls Rock Philly, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Feeding the Line or Ending the Line?

Feeding the Line, Or Ending the Line? Innovations among Food Banks in the United States is a new report by Reinvestment Fund and Bank of America that looks at how food banks are adopting a variety of approaches to feed the hungry and permanently end food insecurity. Northern Neck Food Bank in rural White Stone, VA, for example, has partnered with 27 local farms to run “gleaning programs” in which food banks receive produce that farmers would otherwise throw away or leave in the fields as unsellable. (They generally only sell about half their crops in the marketplace due to commercial demand for produce that meets certain standards of appearance.) Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard in Bloomington, IN, helps its clients enjoy healthy food while eating on a budget, offering workshops on cooking and nutrition, a library of cookbooks, and cooking tools that participants can borrow. And the Greater Lansing Food Bank operates a community garden program and recently started an incubator for aspiring farmers who want to grow and sell produce. Of the 25 farmers they currently work with, 75% are refugees who farmed in their native countries. Read more in the full report.

INTEGRATED TRANSACTIONS: AN EMERGING FOCUS

This paper, co-authored by Reinvestment Fund and Low Income Investment Fund with generous support from The Kresge Foundation, examines the growing range of development projects that integrate multiple sectors, combining people and place-based strategies. Read the full report.