By Ashlee Cunningham, Detroit Housing & Community Development Specialist
Long before Midtown Detroit—or Cass Corridor, as 39-year-old Wayne State University graduate and artist Rachel Barker prefers to call it—was booming with aesthetically pleasing coffee shops, hip art galleries and expensive retail stores, it was the neighborhood where Barker found the first apartment that she called home.
Each year at Capital Impact Partners, we host an offsite, where all staff comes together to discuss successes and challenges in our work, and strategizes how we can continue to commit to the communities that we serve for greater social impact. This year, we held our offsite in our backyard: Washington, D.C. Being a mission-driven organization, we also sought to live out our values and be “of” our Washington, D.C. communities by getting out from behind our desks and serving those who need the most support.
By Danielle Graceffa, Senior Director, Legal Services
Real estate development has always been a risky proposition, fraught with numerous challenges that must always be carefully balanced against the promise of reward.
Throw in the possibility of rehabbing historic properties and that risk-reward scenario is certainly amplified. The city of Detroit, where we have our Midwestern office, is a perfect example.
Founded in the 1700s, the city has witnessed various transformations, with Henry Ford setting the stage for Detroit to become the booming manufacturing center that it is best known as. During that time, the population swelled from around 200,000 residents to well over 1.5 million.
Ellis Carr, President and CEO
2016 was marked by change—both for the U.S. and for Capital Impact. Our country witnessed a transition in leadership and with it words and actions that have divided our country. Part of this division included the voices of many who felt the American Dream had passed them by.
By Jason Anderson, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
At Capital Impact Partners, we think about our efforts around affordable housing, healthy communities and inclusive growth in terms of both the past and the future. It is critical for us to understand the past when we think about how we develop projects and policies, who is at the table and what our level of intention is with each project we undertake.
By Alison Powers, Program Officer
More than 10,000 low-and-moderate income homeowners are sleeping better at night thanks to our partner ROC USA. Instead of worrying about rent increases or land sales that might force them to move, residents of manufactured-home communities (what many commonly refer to as mobile home parks) across the country have purchased their land and put down roots through ROC USA’s cooperative ownership program.
Since 2008, the nonprofit social venture’s innovative model has spun off 182 resident-owned communities in 14 states, ranging in size from eight to 300 dwellings. The 10,000th home was recently secured at Turnpike Park Cooperative in Westborough, Mass.
By Bradford Frost, Director, Detroit Program
2015 was a year of optimism for post-bankruptcy Detroit.
We saw significant investments pour in, including the first projects due to the $100 million pledge from JP Morgan Chase. Combined with the $30 million Woodward Corridor Investment Fund, new and rehabbed buildings are getting developed at a fast clip. Thousands of new streetlights are on. Blight is being tackled at a faster pace than ever before. Detroit’s comeback story is replacing the apocalyptic headlines of recent memory.