Renew Indianapolis gets $85K grant as it joins national housing network

Community development not-for-profit Renew Indianapolis will have $85,000 more in its coffers after signing on to a national network of affordable housing organizations, the group announced Monday.

Renew will join congressionally chartered not-for-profit NeighborWorks America as its first central Indiana-based member after a months-long selection process. The designation comes with an $85,000 unrestricted federal grant, and the opportunity to tap into NeighborWorks’ technical and training resources, according to a news release.

“Access to the NeighborWorks network provides a lot of support to Renew Indianapolis and community development across the city,” said Renew CEO Steven Meyer at a news conference. “It is obviously financial, but also skills training and a support network from around the country of people who are developing best practices. … Really, it is a comprehensive support network for those of us who are working on comprehensive community development.”

Renew renovates and builds affordable housing, operates a land bank allowing people to rehabilitate abandoned properties and offers a variety of loan products to homebuyers, homeowners, small businesses and developers.

The organization will put the money toward projects it already has in the works, like its work in the Martindale Brightwood neighborhood through Lift Indy, Meyer said.

“Residents should be able to dream of homeownership, especially those who love their community, want to see it flourish and want to stay a part of the neighborhood that they deeply love,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

Three other Indiana-based organizations, all farther north, are also part of the national network, alongside nearly 60 scattered throughout the Midwest, said NeighborWorks President and CEO Marietta Rodriguez.

“Everyone is entitled to affordable housing that is safe and decent, where they can be part of a stable community, particularly during these times where we’re often accessing education, employment and even health care from our homes,” Rodriguez added. “The pandemic has shown that home matters and is critical to our stability of our families and our communities.”

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