Front Porch Investments (Courtesy of Zac Gudakov on Unsplash)
OMAHA — The nonprofit Front Porch Investments is preparing to launch a “Greenlining Fund” to help reverse the historic and ill effects of local redlining.
The organization, supported by major philanthropic foundations and the City of Omaha, describes the new program as a way to help low- to moderate-income families and individuals build wealth and stability.
That mission differs from Front Porch’s earlier announced “preservation and development fund,” which was started earlier this year to create and preserve affordable housing inventory.
In the next few weeks, the group will begin a search for a community advisory committee of people representing North and South Omaha, areas that have been affected by redlining, to help design parameters of the Greenlining fund program that will start next year.
Naomi Hattaway, Front Porch director of communications and community initiatives, said a core value of the nonprofit is equitable access to power, and she said that will live out in the advisory committee.
“The committee will hold equal voting power with the Front Porch board of directors and staff,” she said. “The input, guidance, and collective decision making from the community is absolutely imperative to bring intentional reinvestment and displacement prevention support to formerly redlined areas of the greater Omaha metro.”
Among the Greenlining fund goals: to assist low to moderate-income people expand down-payment assistance and financing for buying homes; providing zero-interest equity loans for home repairs; low-cost financing for debt consolidation; property tax relief in revitalizing areas with escalating property values.
The funding program, Hattaway said, also is intended to proactively prevent future displacement of residents due to rising property values as a result of current and future development in the community.
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