(Detroit) – The Community Builders (TCB) was awarded one of five contracts under Fannie Mae’s $5 million 2022 Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (IC22), a nationwide competition to help advance racial equity in housing. Through IC22, Fannie Mae sought innovative, scalable proposals to remove barriers that currently prevent many households, including Black households, from purchasing or renting a home.
TCB’s Fannie Mae contract supports the From Our Doors to Yours initiative, which will deploy an economic empowerment package to build and repair credit through on-time rental payments. It will leverage affordable rentals in Chicago, Detroit, and Richmond, empowering Black families to achieve higher credit scores, build earned savings accounts, and receive cash down payment assistance. On-site Community Life coaches will connect residents with relevant resources while building savings through earned income.
The Innovation Challenge is part of Fannie Mae’s Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation initiative, which focuses on developing collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities and generating solutions for the nation’s most pressing housing issues. Fannie Mae solicited proposals that specifically address the insufficient supply of quality affordable housing options, insufficient funds for upfront and unexpected housing costs, and consumer credit challenges, including low credit scores and credit invisibility.
“The Community Builders is committed to building and sustaining strong communities for Detroit residents of all incomes. Our work with the City of Detroit to support families and to create affordable housing opportunities for renters and owners are helping make Corktown a neighborhood where everyone can thrive,” said Jeff Beam, Great Lakes regional vice president of The Community Builders. “Working with our local partners, we are excited to create a more equitable future for the residents of this community with TCB’s From Our Doors to Yours initiative.”
“The From Our Doors to Yours initiative is an innovative way to connect families, particularly Black families, to wealth-building opportunity,” said Elizabeth Gonzalez Suarez, vice president of Community Life. “TCB Community Life coaches and financial guides will support families dreaming of owning their first home.”
“We are proud to open a new door to the American dream of homeownership and thrilled to be selected as a Fannie Mae Innovation Challenge contract awardee,” said Stephanie Garrett-Stearns, The Community Builders vice president of communications fund development. “TCB’s From Our Doors to Yours initiative is a model for addressing homeownership barriers that disproportionately impact Black families and create a more equitable pathway to wealth building.”
The Fannie Mae contract is the latest in a series of TCB investments in Detroit. The organization is a principal team member in the $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) grant awarded in 2021 to develop more than 800 units of housing in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. TCB invested new markets tax credits in 2022 to finance the restoration of a historic building into a new elementary school building at The School at Marygrove.
To learn more about From Our Doors to Yours and the contract awardees and their innovative solutions, please visit https://fm.fanniemae.com/challenge.
About The Community Builders
The Community Builders’ mission is to build and sustain strong communities where all people can thrive. Our mission-driven businesses work with partners to develop, finance and operate residential communities, neighborhood amenities and opportunity programs for families, seniors and adults with disabilities. Since 1964, we have advanced housing equity through award-winning affordable and mixed-income communities and our pioneering Community Life model for resident success. Today, our ownership and management portfolio include over 14,000 apartment homes. Anchored by offices in Boston, Chicago, Columbus, New York and Washington D.C., we operate across 15 states.