CHT Lands Social Innovation Fund Award28-Feb-2012
The Champlain Housing Trust has been selected to receive a $130,000 grant from the Social Innovation Fund of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). NCB Capital Impact, a Social Innovation Fund intermediary, chose CHT as a subgrantee for their “outstanding work in their field.”
“We believe Champlain Housing Trust is a high-impact nonprofit that uses innovation and evidence to tackle social challenges,” CNCS Acting Chief Executive Officer Robert Velasco, II explained in his letter announcing the award to Vermont’s Congressional delegation.
CHT is one of the oldest and is the largest community land trust in the country. Throughout Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, CHT manages 1,500 apartments and over 500 owner-occupied homes and provides homebuyer education and financial counseling. Its signature shared equity program won the organization one of just two United Nations World Habitat Awards in 2008. CHT anticipates adding another 42 new shared equity homes over the next five years and managing the resale of 15 to 30 homes per year.
The Social Innovation Fund grant will be used to expand CHT’s capacity for post-purchase stewardship, explore options for expanded partnerships and new funding to add homes to its portfolio, and develop tools that will help standardize and streamline the operations of six smaller community land trusts in Vermont.
The award drew praise from Vermont’s Congressional delegation. All issued statements in response to the announcement.
“The Champlain Housing Trust has become a world renowned organization for its ability to find new solutions to a centuries old problem – ensuring that every human being has a safe and affordable home. This grant, funded by the federal agency that funds the bulk of America’s national service programs, will help more low income Vermonters access sustainable homeownership through community land trusts,” said Senator Patrick Leahy.
“Champlain Housing Trust has a proven track record of providing affordable housing for low and moderate income families in northwestern Vermont,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “This grant will allow CHT to provide additional services to first time homebuyers, and to reach new families who want to buy a home but find themselves shut out of the market.”
Congressman Peter Welch added, “This is great news that will help expand affordable housing options for many Vermonters. Champlain Housing Trust has proven itself an effective leader in affordable home ownership and this grant will help them expand the good work they do in Vermont.”
NCB Capital Impact (www.ncbcapitalimpact.org), the intermediary, created the Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program to scale and replicate “shared equity homeownership” programs to build the capacity of local organizations to more effectively manage public investment in affordable homeownership for low- and moderate- income families. The Fund attempts to ensure that assisted families realize measurable economic benefits including increased stability, access to neighborhoods of opportunity, and family wealth building. By preserving the public investment, these programs increase the number of families served without additional public investment. The ultimate goal of this work is to transform the way that local, state and federal agencies invest scarce public funds to support homeownership, with an emphasis on replication and providing intensive technical assistance.
The Social Innovation Fund, which was established under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, is intended to benefit low-income communities by growing nonprofit organizations throughout the United States that are achieving real results with evidence of impact. The Fund invests in proven intermediary grant-making organizations that mobilize additional non-federal matching funds to support high-impact local nonprofits working in three key issue areas—economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.