NCB Capital Impact Receives Coveted $2 Million Social Innovation Fund Award for its Cornerstone Partnership Initiative

Two Year Award Enables Continuation of the Successful Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2013) — An innovative effort that builds capacity of local programs that affordable and sustainable homeownership a reality for millions of Americans received a vote of confidence with a two-year, $2 million continuation award from the Corporation for Community and National Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF).

The SIF award provides two additional years of funding for NCB Capital Impact’s (Capital Impact) Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program (CHIP), which provides grants to homeownership programs across the country that preserve long–term affordability and community stability. CHIP is administered by Capital Impact’s Cornerstone Partnership Initiative, a peer network supporting programs that 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.

“Affordable homeownership remains an elusive dream to many lower income families,” said Terry Simonette, President and CEO of Capital Impact. “The CHIP program helps local, state, and federal agencies use their scarce funds to facilitate the best way to make those dreams a reality. We are very proud that the Social Innovation Fund has the confidence in this innovative program,” he added.

The $2 million grant will be used to continue the CHIP through 2016, funding $1.6 million in sub-grants, as well as technical assistance, evaluation and administration. The SIF grant will be matched 1:1.2 in private funding to Capital Impact, and all sub-grants are also matched at least 1:1 with private funding at the local level. In the CHIP’s first two years, Cornerstone Partnership committed $2.6 in sub-grants funded by the SIF and the Ford Foundation to 10 nonprofit organizations operating in nine states and the District of Columbia. In their first year alone, these sub-grantees leveraged an additional $1.3 million in local matching funds and served over 600 additional households. The second year of the CHIP is currently in progress, and shows promise for expanded outcomes. This continuation award from the SIF will allow the CHIP to operate through spring 2016 and ensure that thousands more families benefit from the opportunity of homeownership.

“Some five years into a national foreclosure crisis, this major new investment from the Social Innovation Fund makes an important point loud and clear: Fulfilling the American Dream of homeownership for low-income families is not only possible, it can be done in a way that is responsible, sustainable and scalable,” said Jerry Maldonado, program officer at the Ford Foundation. “The Cornerstone Partnership is an incredible resource for communities that are looking for a smarter way to invest in and develop homeownership opportunities for working families, and this new award brings added momentum to an approach that is catching on across the country.”

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.

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, CHIP provides grants to homeownership organizations annually, bringing these programs to the next level of growth, capacity and impact; provides comprehensive technical assistance to grantees; and supports grantees in implementing HomeKeeper (myhomekeeper.org) our existing Sector Performance Datasystem in order to more effectively track program outcomes.

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The Cornerstone Partnership is a peer network for homeownership programs that preserve long-term affordability and community stability, helping more hard-working people buy homes today, maintain those homes, and keep them affordable in the future. Cornerstone Partnership has grown to over 800 members since its launch in October, 2010 and provides resources and technical assistance to support long-term affordable homeownership program practitioners in the field. www.affordableownership.org.

NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a Congressionally chartered, District of Columbia, non-profit community development finance institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality health care, healthy foods, housing, 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 nearly $1.9 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. www.capitalimpact.org.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service and champions community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

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