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Housing group gets $6.3 million from Lilly Endowment

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Lilly Endowment Inc. is continuing its decades-long support of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, awarding the not-for-profit a $6.3 million grant to help low- and middle-income families become homeowners.

The Indianapolis-based endowment has provided more than $110 million in funding to INHP since its inception 22 years ago.

Last year, the agency provided nearly 2,300 Marion County residents with assistance, and more than 200 families closed on a mortgage to purchase or repair a home.

Services include direct lending and help connecting with financial institutions. The organization also offers one-on-one credit counseling and mortgage education sessions.

“Families that went through our program – we’re seeing that they’re generally in a better position to become long-term homeowners because of the incredible preparation” INHP offers, said agency President Moira Carlstedt. “It’s very direct. It isn’t something that may happen in the future. We help you prepare and then make choices.”

Along with its partner financial institutions, the group offered loans worth more than $15 million last year. Families earning less than 80 percent of the area’s median income accounted for 94 percent of the borrowers.

The endowment support allows INHP to assist community development organizations within the neighborhoods, she said. And new homeowners also contribute to the communities.  

Carlstedt noted that $15 million might not seem like much money in the larger scheme of the mortgage market, but the aid her organization provides is directed mainly at those who often do not have the credit or resources to attain homeownership. The Neighborhood Housing Partnership also offers post-mortgage resources.

“Those choices are directly related to being long-term successful, which we need, especially now,” Carlstedt said. “You have to achieve it and retain it.”

In 2010, the organization brought in $8.6 million in revenue—77 percent from contributions, including more than $2 million from Lilly Endowment. Donations covered 97 percent of program costs.

Carlstedt said 81 percent of contributions to her organization directly assist potential homeowners. The rest covers wages and other operating expenses.

Lilly Endowment has been one of its largest supporters.

“The endowment is incredibly important to enabling us to offer our programs to the individuals and the neighborhoods,” Carlstedt said. “It is a remarkable investment that they’ve made in the INHP.”

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