I was recently in Indianapolis, celebrating the accomplishments of a local community organization, the Indianapolis Housing Partnership (INHP), with my colleagues and our partners.

INHP has been an innovator in virtually every aspect of accessible, affordable homeownership. They offer a variety of creative mortgage products in addition to programs for home repair, homebuyer education, and even realtor engagement. As one of my colleagues at the Housing Partnership Network, a national organization, said, “I wish every market in America had an INHP.”

Indeed, every community needs an INHP because the housing market since the onset of the pandemic has only gotten more difficult. The most recent State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing states that, “Even as the US economy continues to recover, the inequalities amplified by the pandemic remain front and center. [M]illions of households that lost income are behind on their housing payments and on the brink of eviction or foreclosure. A disproportionately large share of these at-risk households are renters with low incomes and people of color.”

INHP is a CDFI, an acronym – well known in our field – for Community Development Financial Institution. CDFIs are a collaborative force that brings together diverse private and public sector investors to create economic opportunity in communities.

They are mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting communities that have historically lacked access to capital – places that the financial markets, when left to their own devices – have failed to reach.

Read the full article about CDFIs by Annie Donovan at LISC.