Earlier this month, NeighborWorks America announced that it awarded more than $74 million in flexible grants to its 239 chartered nonprofit organizations. This fiscal-year (FY) 2020 grant funding (appropriated through the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020) will provide these organizations with much-needed resources to further NeighborWorks America’s vision of making every community in the country a place of opportunity.
“Congress has demonstrated it has a sharp eye for a solid investment,” said NeighborWorks America President and CEO Marietta Rodriguez. “NeighborWorks America’s ability to continually demonstrate our stewardship is due in no small part to the spectacular work of our network of nearly 250 organizations located in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.”
CommunityWorks North Dakota, which is part of Lewis & Clark Development Group, is one of those member organizations that is stewarding funds and maximizing their impact.
As the state’s only NeighborWorks America chartered organization, LCD Group received $424,500 in funding for FY-2020. Of this, $290,000 in capital will increase LCD Group’s capacity for lending and investments. Another $134,500 will support operations or meet other organizational objectives.
“These funds are essential to our work and, as we continue to emphasize, there is not a better investment. NeighborWorks American is able to leverage more than $64 million for every dollar we received in congressional appropriation. Here in North Dakota, these funds have a tremendous ripple effect,” says LCD Group Executive Director Brent Ekstrom.
A look at the numbers, especially as they relate to single- and multi-family housing, confirm this…
- Single Family Housing Services: Almost $96 million in investments since 2001 with $35 million in DREAM Fund loans and almost $61 million in leverage.
- Multi-Family Housing Services: Since 1997, LCD Group has completed 926 units. Another 143 units are currently pending for 2020. Broken down into dollars that’s $168 million in total investment with $7.5 million in loans and almost $161 million in leverage.
Back in December, NeighborWorks America Vice President for Business Intelligence Michael Butchko keynoted LCD Group’s annual meeting. In his presentation, Butchko outlined the coming demographic trends that will impact North Dakota’s housing environment over the next decade. Chief among these trends is the state’s growing younger population, which comes at the same time the state is experiencing a shortage in housing stock. For their part, North Dakota’s Baby Boomers are, like their peers across the country, opting to ‘age in place’ preferring to stay in their own homes rather than transition to new housing.
“The data shows that our services will be in even greater demand over the next ten to twenty years,” adds Ekstrom. “We are one of only a few organizations out there that has the resources to leverage public and private dollars and the willingness to take the risks needed to address North Dakota’s housing needs.”
That is a point confirmed by Rodriguez, who noted in NeighborWorks America’s announcement that organizations, like LCD Group, “Demonstrate their leadership every day in providing affordable housing opportunities, building strong neighborhoods and creating jobs.”
NeighborWorks America is a congressionally chartered, national, nonpartisan nonprofit that provides access to homeownership, safe and affordable rental housing, and other community-building services. The organization responsibly stewards the federal and other investment funds entrusted to it to help individuals, families and communities thrive through comprehensive approaches to affordable housing and community development.