FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 26, 2023
Contact: Rachel Spitz, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON D.C. – SERI has been awarded a $185,000 grant from the National Fair Housing Alliance’s (NFHA) Inclusive Communities Fund Grant program to help people access equitable housing opportunities and promote stable, healthy, viable communities. These funds were made available as part of last year’s historic settlement with Fannie Mae that provided $35 million to promote homeownership, neighborhood stabilization, access to credit, property rehabilitation, and residential development.
SERI is pleased to receive this grant award and put it towards owner-occupied home repairs, not limited to energy efficiency. This will create a meaningful impact for low-income families that are predominately African America or Latino in the Tucson Metropolitan Area. These communities traditionally have had fewer resources to participate in programs that build resilience or achieve greater energy efficiency, cost savings and independence. With these funds, our plan is to expand our recently initiated energy efficiency retrofit grant and pilot loan program for low-income households in Tucson.
The Inclusive Communities Fund Grant Program invests fair housing settlement funds intended for community relief into neighborhoods or populations that have been destabilized by housing discrimination. The Inclusive Communities Fund empowers all individuals to access safe, sustainable housing of choice; creates inclusive, healthy, and well-resourced neighborhoods; and addresses systemic barriers that limit equitable housing opportunities for everyone.
“Too many neighborhoods have been destabilized by systemic housing discrimination. We are ready to invest in these areas to rebuild communities of color,” said Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA. “By partnering with SERI, we will revitalize block after block, the neighborhoods most impacted by the 2008 mortgage crisis, and build more inclusive and equitable communities. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure everyone has access to safe, sustainable, and fair housing choices and well-resourced neighborhoods.”
This grant will allow SERI to expand their Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program to include owner-occupied home repairs and/or energy efficiency retrofits, by providing no-interest loans of up to $2,000 to at the least 50 households. SERI will work with participants to assess their homes and recommend retrofit and home repair options to be undertaken. Participants will receive education about energy, safety and health related issues including an energy efficiency workshop and an energy efficiency kit that can be installed by the participant. SERI will help participants determine the amount of loan for home repairs and retrofits. SERI will work with contractors to complete work that participants cannot complete, again paying all upfront costs. After the work is completed, the participant will pay off the loan, which will then allow SERI to provide loans to additional families creating a revolving loan fund for home repairs.
SERI is a community-based, non-profit, tax-exempt organization that has been extensively involved with environmental, health and safety issues in southern Arizona for over 27 years. SERI’s mission is to preserve the environment and protect human health through the development of a sustainable future. SERI partners with neighborhoods that are under economic, environmental and health stress and help determine the risks to which the residents are exposed and actions to be taken to reduce those risks.
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.