Low- and moderate-income families could receive more direct support—through lending programs and downpayment assistance—to purchase homes over the next five years under a $26.6 million grant the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership has received from the Lilly Endowment.
The additional funding will also help the not-for-profit INHP provide new support to neighborhoods, in part by offering flexible, long-term capital for community efforts that prevent and reduce abandoned housing.
Ace Yakey, the Lilly Endowment’s vice president of community development, said the grant is meant to extend INHP’s “impact in the critical area of housing as Indianapolis works toward comprehensive community development.”
“After nearly three decades of commitment to strengthening families, neighborhoods and our city by fostering successful home ownership, INHP now finds itself, more than ever, at the center of many community and neighborhood initiatives,” Yakey said in a written statement. “INHP is frequently asked to provide leadership and resources to these efforts.”
The grant will both support programs INHP already has in place and will allow the organization to do more with partners on larger neighborhood issues. INHP spokeswoman Rachel Faulkner said the group is still working on its implementation plan for the funding but said expanded programs should begin rolling out in 2016.
“There’s been a lot of research on what we could do more of—on what need is there,” Faulkner said. “It’s culminating in a plan that will say: Here are things that we could be doing now. And these dollars really provide the fuel for us to be start doing some of these things.”
Part of that plan will be finding ways to act as a “catalyst” for neighborhood improvements, in part in collaboration with the Great Places initiative, which seeks to coordinate development in targeted neighborhoods. INHP is a Great Places implementation partner.
“We want to work in a comprehensive way,” Faulkner said. “We want to look at vulnerable areas and make them places where people want to live and work again.”
INHP also received a $5.3 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to support its ongoing operations, the latest in a series of investments the endowment has made since the organization’s creation in 1988. In all, the Lilly Endowment has provided more than $172 million for INHP programs.
“This important investment equips INHP to significantly increase our collaboration with community partners to achieve tangible transformation in the lives of Indianapolis families and neighborhoods,” said INHP president Moira Carlstedt said in a statement. “Together, our city, our neighborhoods and our residents will thrive.”
INHP provides Indianapolis residents with education, financial advising and affordable mortgages to purchase or repair homes. In 2014, roughly 2,400 Indianapolis received education about home ownership, 450 people received mortgage financing to purchase or repair homes and more than $35.1 million was invested in mortgage financing through INHP’s lender partners.