The initiative, backed by the Citi Foundation and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), aims to advance the “quarterback” model of community development by assisting trusted organizations to create strong, resilient neighborhoods and paths to economic opportunity.
“The Partners in Progress initiative is focused on identifying and supporting organizations that have the credibility and potential to be local community development champions,” said Pamela Flaherty, president & CEO of the Citi Foundation.
Under the one-year grant, NHSSF will expand and accelerate efforts to transform Miami-Dade County’s 79th Street Corridor from a fragmented set of residential, commercial, and industrial sites into a cohesive neighborhood with better transit that connects residents to jobs, retail, and needed services. The 79th Street Corridor is a low-income community that faces significant economic and social challenges.
NHSSF will focus its efforts on using current transit infrastructure to connect neighborhood residents to jobs in the south Florida region; creating new affordable housing; and revitalizing the retail, commercial, and social services resources in the area.
Additionally, NHSSF will seek a Foreign Trade Zone designation for the Corridor, which will open the possibility for new businesses to locate in the corridor, creating new jobs and economic activity.
“Partners in Progress provides us an amazing opportunity to lead by serving. We will work diligently and tenaciously with our partners in the 79th Street corridor to create a vibrant neighborhood of choice by building on the years of work already accomplished,” said Arden Shank, president & CEO of NHSSF.
NHSSF will lead the development or expansion of local stakeholder networks to improve places—the physical environment of a community including housing, transit, and safety— and create opportunities for people—such as jobs, child development, education, and health.
PIP funding will enable grantees to engage and align an expanded range of partners, share knowledge, and use data to drive project design. In addition, NHSSF will participate in a learning community that will include coaching and skill building.
“Recognizing that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to improving economic opportunity, we know the quarterback model works to align smart approaches with smart financing,” said Nancy O. Andrews, president and CEO of LIIF.
The impetus behind the PIP initiative came from Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, a book LIIF co-published in 2012 with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which asserts that flexible and dynamic community quarterbacks could transform local community development efforts that are often fragmented and duplicative.
The Citi Foundation supported LIIF’s work on the original book, and the PIP initiative now aims to advance the community quarterback model in across the nation.
Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida is a local nonprofit organization that collaborates with residents and other stakeholders to stabilize neighborhoods and develop sustainable housing.