Rocket Community Fund Teams Up with Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership to Preserve Affordable Housing
- This partnership marks the first in Rocket Community Fund’s expansion of housing stability work to Atlanta
- A total $750,000 investment will cover property tax increases for 44 properties under the Legacy Resident Retention Program and help preserve 2,000 affordable housing units through the Closing the Gap Initiative.
December 12, 2022- The Rocket Community Fund, in partnership with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP) and Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP), announced a $750,000 investment to remove systemic barriers that prevent safe and stable housing for Atlanta residents.
According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlanta has the highest rate of economic inequality and one of the lowest rates of upward mobility. Many residents face difficulties finding adequate housing that is also safe and affordable for their families due to discriminatory practices, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this problem, some residents struggle financially, risk eviction or find themselves forced to relocate.
As part of its mission to simplify complex and inequitable systems to ensure that every American has access to stable, healthy housing, the Rocket Community Fund is proud to support two organizations that are working to correct this imbalance. The Rocket Community Fund’s entry to the Atlanta market builds on similarly successful community partnerships in Detroit and Cleveland, which have helped drive greater housing stability by reducing tax foreclosures, preventing evictions, and creating new pathways to homeownership.
“We believe everyone deserves a safe and stable place to call home. These investments with deep-rooted community partners like ABP and ANDP are a critical first step to addressing one of the most urgent needs of the Atlanta community,” said Laura Grannemann, Vice President, Rocket Community Fund. “Our work in Detroit has shown us how a dedicated group of partners can drive systemic change and more equitable outcomes. We look forward to supporting that change in Atlanta.”
Protecting Legacy Residents
The Legacy Resident Retention Program (LRRP) is a resource to help longtime homeowners living in the Atlanta BeltLine equity priority subareas in westside and southside neighborhoods stay in their homes by covering the costs of increases in property taxes through the 2030 tax year.
The Rocket Community Fund’s $500,000 investment will cover the increases in property taxes for 44 homes in these areas. Participating residents have lived in their homes for an average of 23 years. This support will allow more seniors to remain in place and keep their families’ homes.
“We are deeply thankful for Rocket Community Fund’s generous contribution,” said Rob Brawner, Executive Director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. “Their commitment to supporting the people of Atlanta and preserving generational wealth will ensure residents are able to live, work, and thrive in Atlanta BeltLine communities.”
Households must make less than 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for their respective household size to qualify for participation. Some homeowners earn significantly less. The average participant’s income is less than $37,000 a year.
Applicants can register to become part of the program here. They can also check to see if their house is within the eligibility boundaries here.
Closing the Homeownership Gap
In addition to supporting legacy resident retention, the Rocket Community Fund is committed to helping solve the racial homeownership gap and ensure those who have been historically disenfranchised can build wealth through homeownership.
Homeownership remains the principal way most families build generational wealth. However, nationwide, Black-owned homes are typically worth about 18% less than white-owned homes. Despite efforts to outlaw housing discrimination, a vast divide remains between the rate of white homeownership (75%) and the rate of Black homeownership (44%).
“Access to finance and collateral has reduced people of color’s capacity. This has led to a loss of wealth, more debt, and less down payment savings, which can lead to community dissolution,” said John O’Callaghan, President and CEO, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. “With this investment from the Rocket Community Fund, ANDP will have a greater impact across marginalized areas.”
The Rocket Community Fund’s $250,000 investment will contribute to ANDP’s vision for racial equity. Through its campaign to create and preserve 2,000 units of affordable housing by 2025, ANDP estimates it will be able to invest more than $50 million into Black-owned residential contractors, subcontractors, and vendors in the form of partnership investments, direct contracts, and low-cost loans.
About the Rocket Community Fund
The Rocket Community Fund aims to simplify complex and inequitable systems to ensure that every American has access to stable, healthy housing. It also invests in people and practices that provide meaningful opportunities for education and employment. Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Rocket Community Fund recognizes that business and community are inextricably linked, and it purposefully harnesses team member talent, technology, policy advocacy and philanthropic resources to invest in comprehensive community development in Detroit and across the country. Alongside financial investments, the Rocket Community Fund has organized Rocket Companies, Bedrock and other affiliated team members to provide more than 865,000 volunteer hours nationwide, including 430,000 in Detroit. For more information, visit RocketCommunityFund.org.
About the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership is a nonprofit organization that helps keep the Atlanta BeltLine vision on track by enabling the construction of more parks and trails; engaging the public through tours, health and fitness programs, and special events; and empowering Atlanta BeltLine residents to connect with affordable housing, sustainable economic development, urban revitalization, and a healthy lifestyle.
About the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership
A chartered member of NeighborWorks, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership is a nonprofit organization that develops, finances and advocates for affordable housing at a scale that promotes racial equity and healthy communities where families thrive. Now in its 30th year, the organization aims to further reduce the Black homeownership gap and increase access to affordable rentals with its “Closing the Gap: 2,000 units by 2025” campaign. Connect at www.andpi.org.