As part of the “Our Vision, Their Stories” project, the Initiative is featuring the stories of their affordable housing partners across the state. We recognize this important work cannot be done in a vacuum, and we are honored to have worked alongside these champions in the critical mission of preserving affordable housing spaces in our community.
Click to watch the full video here.
One of the challenges of working to achieve affordable housing for communities comes from strict policies and loan barriers. Reinvestment Partners knew that if they could get banks to lend money to underserved communities, to remove redlining and remove fair lending barriers, the result would lead to fairer and more prosperous communities.
Hence Reinvestment Partners’ mission: to foster healthy and just communities by empowering people, improving places and influencing policy.
Started in 1986 as a project of the NC Legal Services, Reinvestment Partners has played a key role in shaping the point of view and policies of North Carolina’s banks toward The Community Reinvestment Act and community development.
To Reinvestment Partners, community development means community members coming together to generate thoughtful solutions to common problems, thereby fostering stronger and more resilient communities. Through overhauling residential and commercial properties in poor conditions and supporting neighborhood improvements, Reinvestment Partners works with the local government, small businesses and individuals in the community, to ensure that Durham (and North Carolina) is a desirable place to live!
Peter Skillern, Executive Director of Reinvestment Partners, talks about how they seek compassion for individuals in light of fostering healthy communities. “It’s affected by where they live, but all of that is underneath the structure of systemic justice and injustice, and how we make system changes to affect the place and the people,” he says.
The organization works with about 2,500 low-income individuals in Durham every year to provide extensive programs and services. These include housing counseling, free tax preparation, food assistance and healthy homes programs. Reinvestment Partners has secured agreements totaling more than $40 billion in mortgages, small business lending and community development investments for low-wealth communities! This has led to numerous successful partnerships between banks and nonprofits.
Right now, Reinvestment Partners has a pipeline in place of about $7.5 million of real estate being redeveloped for affordable housing and commercial properties, as well as policy work centered mainly around health reform and financial services.
Reinvestment Partners is dedicated to making a difference in Durham, and beyond. They are committed to work with who they can, when they can, with what they have. Through them, we are reminded that people, places and policy are all vital parts in the process of improving and sustaining affordable housing.
To learn more about how to become involved with the work at Reinvestment Partners, visit their website.