The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced $50 million in capacity building grants to three national groups that support affordable housing and community development. 

The grants, which require a three-to-one private/public partnership, were awarded to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.; and Habitat for Humanity International.  These organizations will distribute the funds to 250 communities across the U.S.  The monies are expected to ultimately result in construction, renovation, or preservation of approximately 8,000 housing units and to provide 1,000 training opportunities.   

The grants were awarded under HUD's Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Program and, fast-tracked by HUD staff, were announced only 33 days after the application deadline compared to 124 days in 2010.  Because the program requires a minimum three-to-one private/public match, today's grants will stimulate nearly $150 million in investments nationwide, and more than $1 billion in total development costs channeled to low- and moderate-income families.

The Capacity Building for Community Development program grants funds for intermediaries to develop the capacity of nonprofit community development corporations (CDCs) to use to attract private investment for housing, economic development, and other community revitalization activities. By statute, there are five eligible grantees -- Living Cities, Inc./National Community Development Initiative, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, and YouthBuild USA. The program is competitive. The purpose of the capacity building program is to enhance the technical and administrative capabilities of community development corporations (CDCs) and community housing development organizations (CHDOs) to carry out community development and affordable housing activities.

Mercedes  Mãrquez, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development said "These funds act as 'multipliers. By helping to build the capacity of local community-based housing and development organizations, we're able to at least triple the impact of taxpayer dollars at the local level and, in today's fiscal environment, that's not just good government, that's intelligent government."

Since 2008, these grants have constructed, renovated or preserved nearly 31,000 homes; provided 2,325 training opportunities for CDCs or CHDOs; and stimulated $5.4 billion in total development activity.