The Central New York Community Foundation’s local impact investing program has closed on two recoverable grants, totaling $1,860,000, to Home HeadQuarters. The two grants will help the organization continue its housing programs until funding from city and state grant contracts are fulfilled.
Home HeadQuarters (HHQ) is a nonprofit housing and community development organization and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that creates housing opportunities in Central and Upstate New York for individuals and families. The organization was founded in 1996 to address declining owner-occupancy rates and disinvestment in the city of Syracuse through programs targeting home improvement and first-time homebuyers.
A $860,000 recoverable grant will allow the organization to continue funding emergency property repairs for local homeowners while awaiting reimbursement of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding awarded to HHQ and expended last year. A $1,000,000 recoverable grant will help HHQ to continue construction and renovations on single family, energy-efficient homes on the Near Westside of Syracuse. When the homes are complete, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will provide reimbursement for the costs and HHQ will sell them to low- and moderate-income families.
“This kind of flexible, low-interest emergency investment loan from the CNY Community Foundation is exactly what’s needed to help Home HeadQuarters continue to serve our community,” said Kerry Quaglia, Home HeadQuarters’ founder and CEO. “While our organization has always operated with a customer-first approach by expending awarded funding and then waiting for reimbursement from the government, no organization can continue to operate effectively when funding payments are lagging by almost a year. We appreciate the CNY Community Foundation’s commitment to local housing and local nonprofit organizations.”
These investments mark a total of more than $3.1 million now advancing housing, business development and lending through the Community Foundation’s impact investing program. Impact investing allows the organization to use its financial resources to make investments that generate both financial returns and positive social outcomes. In 2023, the foundation’s board of directors approved a policy that allows the use of up to 5% of its main investment pool for the purpose of impact investment. So far, 41 new homes have been built and $56.2 million has been leveraged for home, personal and business loans.
“In addition to being a CDFI, Home HeadQuarters has been an essential partner of our LeadSafeCNY initiative and our broader community efforts to revitalize local housing, so we are confident that these two recoverable grants are wise and trusted investments,” said Frank Ridzi, vice president of community investment at the Community Foundation. “We are thrilled to be a part of HHQ’s commitment to expanding safe housing opportunities in under-resourced neighborhoods.”
The Community Foundation’s local impact investing program is designed to tackle a wide range of community needs with an emphasis on helping Central New York residents build wealth, equipping residents with the opportunity to contribute to the economic performance of the region and providing under-resourced communities and nonprofit organizations access to capital. Learn more at cnycf.org/impactinvesting.