Repair projects at up to 150 homes in North St. Louis County will move forward in 2021 after Beyond Housing received $3 million in grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines).
In December, the FHLB Des Moines approved all three applications from Beyond Housing as part of the 2020 round of its Affordable Housing Program. They were among 63 approved applications in the competitive program, for a total of $41,273,839.
“Three million dollars means another 150 or so families will get their homes worked on—new roofs and windows and HVAC systems, all the major things in their house that they can be proud of and that provide them with safety, security, and a sense of belonging,” said Chris Krehmeyer, President and CEO of Beyond Housing.
These new two-year awards for the 24:1 Community Home Repair Program come in addition to $3 million Beyond Housing received in 2019. Together, the $6 million in awards cover a three-year time period and stretch across the entire Normandy school district footprint in North St. Louis County.
The cumulative impact extends from increasing local home values to boosting business opportunities for contractors—all of which aligns with Beyond Housing’s holistic model for community development.
A Focus on Keeping Homeowners in their Homes
The Affordable Housing Program funds are designated for homeowners in the municipalities served by Beyond Housing, according to Construction Program Director Joe Zmudczynski, whose office oversees the 24:1 Community Home Repair Program projects. “People are already identified—and in some cases they were on a waiting list,” he said.
The $6 million program will fund repairs at up to 300 homes over the three-year period, Zmudczynski said.
The first focus is livability and safety of the homes—things like replacing roofs, handling deferred maintenance, or repairing plumbing and HVAC systems. A secondary focus is on energy efficiency, which helps keep families in their homes by lowering their utility bills.
Beyond Housing has carefully vetted local contractors to ensure that homeowners are completely satisfied with the repair process and results. “It took us a while to get to the point where we have trustworthy contractors who have great customer service,” Zmudczynski said. Last year, 100% of the companies they contracted with were minority business enterprises, or MBEs.
The 24:1 Community Home Repair Program illustrates Beyond Housing’s commitment to strengthening families and neighborhoods. Not only will these improvements transform the physical environment by rehabbing existing homes, they contribute to the well-being and stability of families who might otherwise be forced out of their homes due to the cost of needed repairs.
“We’re making communities more livable,” Zmudczynski said. “We’ve been working in this area 10 to 15 years, and we’ve seen quite a change.” Were it not for programs like these, he worries that families who couldn’t afford upkeep on their homes would have to move out—and too often, in such situations, the property eventually goes to a tax sale.
Since 2014, Beyond Housing has invested more than $7 million in home repairs through a variety of grants. The new $3 million in Affordable Housing Program awards will substantially increase the scope of repair work in the 23 municipalities Beyond Housing serves.
Partnering for Affordable Housing Solutions
The Affordable Housing Program encourages collaboration between financial institutions and housing organizations to create affordable housing solutions for families in need. Since FHLB Des Moines’ inception in 1990, its members have helped facilitate more than $740 million in funding to benefit 120,000 families within its 13-state district through new construction and rehabilitation of owner-occupied or rental housing, as well as down payment and closing cost assistance.
“Here at FHLB Des Moines, our ultimate goal is to strengthen the communities we serve, and through our Affordable Housing Programs grants, we are able to do just that,” said Kris Williams, President and CEO of FHLB Des Moines, which is part of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. “Thanks to 30 years of partnerships between the bank, our member financial institutions, and local housing sponsors such as Beyond Housing, we directly and positively impact the communities we serve.”
The grants awarded to Beyond Housing include:
- $998,000 for the West 24:1 Community Home Repair Program, supported by FHLB Des Moines member Enterprise Bank & Trust
- $999,000 for the South 24:1 Community Home Repair Program, supported by FHLB Des Moines member Midwest BankCentre
- $1,000,000 for the East 24:1 Community Home Repair Program, supported by FHLB Des Moines member Commerce Bank
|HOME REPAIR TOTALS 2014-PRESENT|