Mission First Housing Group is pleased to announce it was one of 38 nonprofits across the country to receive a Capital Magnet Fund award! Mission First was awarded $2.25 million for preservation of affordable housing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We’re very excited to be investing the entire award in Philadelphia, where Mission First was founded thirty years ago, and where today it provides housing to more than 2,200 residents.
The Capital Magnet Fund is a program of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund that provides support to develop, rehabilitate, preserve and purchase affordable housing for low-income individuals and families, as well as related economic development and community service facilities.
One hundred and thirteen organizations applied to the CDFI Fund for Capital Magnet funding in summer 2019, requesting $522 million. On Tuesday, February 25, the CDFI Fund announced awards totaling $130.9 million to 23 Community Development Financial Institutions and 15 nonprofit housing organizations, including Mission First. Mission First has long been a leader in affordable housing preservation in the City of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania, and has been an active participant in LISC Philadelphia’s Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Working Committee.
LISC Philadelphia’s Executive Director, Andy Frishkoff welcomed the award, “We’re thrilled that Mission First is bringing Capital Magnet Fund dollars to Philadelphia. At a time when one in four households in the city struggles to pay rent, preserving affordable housing assets is more important than ever. But many projects require innovative funding solutions. Mission First is a leader in the field and an innovator in bringing difficult to access resources to this work.”
The Capital Magnet Fund award will allow Mission First to preserve over 250 affordable apartments in properties across the city. Preservation of affordable housing involves renovating existing affordable housing units to ensure they are viable for years to come. Preservation is a particularly critical issue in Philadelphia where the affordable housing stock is aging and housing prices are rising. Between 2000 and 2014, Philadelphia lost over 23,000 low-cost rental units according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Since 2011, Mission First has preserved 400 units in Philadelphia. Across our Mid-Atlantic portfolio, we provide affordable housing to nearly 5,000 people in more than 3,800 apartments.
Last year, Mission First received its first Capital Magnet Fund Award of $3,375,000 to develop over 600 apartments as part of the Perkins Somerset Oldtown Transformation Project in Baltimore, MD. “We’re so pleased to have CDFI’s trust and confidence in our work,” said Mission First CEO Alfredo de la Peña. “This year’s award, we’re proud to say, will go entirely to our hometown of Philadelphia, stabilizing affordable housing for generations to come.”