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Renew Indianapolis Awarded More Than $3.6 Million in Federal COVID Rapid Response Funds

Before and after kitchen transformation

Grants to the Build Fund and Edge Fund will be used in hard-hit neighborhoods in Indianapolis for comprehensive community development

Indianapolis (July 22, 2021)Renew Indianapolis is proud to announce it is intensifying its response to COVID-19 thanks to more than $3.6 million in grants from the United States Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI Fund) Rapid Response Program (RRP). Renew, a nonprofit organization committed to improving housing, economic development, and quality of life in the metropolitan Indianapolis area, will invest the rapid response funds into neighborhoods hit especially hard during the pandemic and those that are historically underserved.

The CDFI Fund awarded $12.5 billion to more than 800 community lenders through the program. Renew received the maximum CDFI RRP grant amount ($1,826,265) for each of its two certified CDFIs, the Edge Fund and the Build Fund. The Edge Fund lends to residents to help them find affordable, inclusive, and diverse housing opportunities, while the Build Fund connects businesses to flexible, affordable, and responsible funding.

“Renew is excited to offer more resources to support diverse, equitable, and inclusive community development throughout the Indianapolis area,” said Steven Meyer, Renew Indianapolis CEO.  “Whether you aspire to own your own home or start a business, the CDFI grants will enable Renew to turn those visions into reality.”

The RRP grants will allow Renew to expand on its robust response to COVID-19.  Earlier this year, Renew announced it would invest more than $5 million to preserve affordable housing through the IndyAMP program, which allows homeowners affected by COVID-19 to refinance their mortgage and stay in their homes.  Renew also made more than $1 million available to Indianapolis businesses through a partnership with Bankable, also a nonprofit CDFI located in Indiana.  The new funding will support small businesses, preserve affordable housing, and create new housing opportunities in areas disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Evidence of the work Renew Indianapolis is doing directly in the city’s neighborhoods can be seen recently in Martindale-Brightwood, chosen by the City of Indianapolis as a 2021 Lift Indy neighborhood. Within Martindale-Brightwood, Renew is focused on preserving affordable housing for current homeowners, leading a new construction homeownership program, and offering affordable home loans. As part of this effort, Renew just finished its first rehabbed house at 2917 Manlove Avenue, one of about 20 houses it will build or rehab near Douglass Park over the next three years.  Renew’s partners, Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corporation and Edna Martin Christian Center, will provide complimentary programs offering home repairs and wraparound services.

“The CDFI Rapid Response grant comes at a critical time for Indianapolis and its neighborhoods, and we are prepared to get these funds into the hands of homeowners and business owners who need it most right now,” said Evan Tester, director of lending for Renew Indianapolis. “Our focus is to support comprehensive neighborhood revitalization in communities like Martindale-Brightwood to improve the overall quality of life for the families who live, work, shop, and play there.”

The Build Fund received its first CDFI award in 2016; the Edge Fund’s first CDFI award was in 2019. Since their inception, the funds have secured more than $5 million in grants from the CDFI Fund.  To date, the Edge Fund has provided 26 loans in the amount of $9.3 million to residents throughout Marion County. The Build Fund has closed 24 loans for businesses and brought 249 jobs to communities in Marion County, and just announced its expansion into Hamilton County.

Media Contact: Emily Koschnick, emily@porchlightpr.com | 317.902.0001

Photo credit: Faith Blackwell Photography

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