At a time of dwindling federal support for cities, seven foundations and one insurance company have bet $62.5 million on community development groups to rebuild and upgrade neighborhoods. The new mechanisms will lure another $100 million in previously unavailable Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) money and give low-income housing access to capital markets.
The National Community Development Initiative (NCDI) puts the Rockefeller Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Hewlett Foundation, Knight Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, MacArthur Foundation, Surdna Foundation and the Prudential behind a concept pioneered by the Ford Foundation.
The idea is to bring capital to community development corporations that spring up, often covering a few blocks, to build housing or commercial development, usually with an increase in neighborhood security, maintenance and improvement. This will happen through two groups that already aid grass-roots efforts, the Local Initiatives Support Corp. and James Rouse's Enterprise Foundation.