MacArthur Foundation Initiative To Preserve Affordable Rentals

Twelve states and cities are launching projects to preserve more than 70,000 affordable rental homes, with funding made available by a $32.5 million investment from the MacArthur Foundation.

The new projects will assist military families in Maryland, seniors in rural Iowa and Vermont, low-wage workers in Florida and Oregon, and people who have been homeless in Los Angeles. They will promote energy efficiency in Pennsylvania, save distressed buildings in Minnesota, improve management of rental housing in Washington state and ensure that rental homes are available in gentrifying areas near public transit in Denver.

MacArthur's investment – $9.5 million in grants and an additional $23 million in low-interest loans – will leverage more than $147 million in other funding.

‘These grants have spurred state and local innovation and leadership in the preservation of affordable housing,’ says U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun L. Donovan. ‘At each grantee site, a representative of HUD has participated in developing the strategies and aligning efforts. It is my goal to make HUD a strong partner at the state and local level. The MacArthur Foundation should be commended for supporting partnerships across the government, private and nonprofit sectors.’

State and local governments in 40 states competed for MacArthur's support, which is a part of the foundation's Window of Opportunity initiative, a $150 million, 10-year effort to preserve affordable rental homes across the nation. By investing in public-sector initiatives such as these, the Foundation says it hopes to help create a wave of policy reform in cities and states that will make it possible to preserve 1 million homes this decade.

‘For many years, the goal of homeownership has been emphasized in the U.S., and as a country, we lost sight of the value of rental housing in a balanced national housing policy,’ says MacArthur's president, Jonathan Fanton. ‘The end of the housing bubble and a wave of foreclosures have underscored the importance of affordable rental housing."

SOURCE: MacArthur Foundation


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