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Acts Housing, a nonprofit which makes home ownership possible for families with income, credit, language, and other barriers, was named a Top 10 finalist for the 2021 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. The national award recognizes ambitious, feasible, and scalable solutions to affordability. Finalists, including Acts Housing, offer tangible solutions as Americans are increasingly being priced out of safe and affordable housing.
“We are at crisis moment in terms of affordability driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a shortage of existing housing inventory, supply chain disruptions and escalating costs, and exacerbated long-standing racial inequities,” said Kent Colton, chair of the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability Advisory Board. “These are massive issues that demand new and innovative solutions. This year’s Top 10 finalists have the potential to make a decisive impact.”
Acts Housing was recognized for innovations in finance. For more than 25 years, Acts Housing has been successfully helping low-to-moderate income families become homeowners. Since its founding in 1995, Acts families have purchased more than 2,900 homes and reclaimed 950 foreclosed properties.
For families with the most barriers to home ownership, access to traditional loan capital is often impossible. Acts Housing assists families with the purchase and rehab of distressed properties into stable homes through homebuyer education, real estate services, Acts Lending capital, and rehab process support all under “one roof.”
“Our ‘Rehabbing Lives and Homes’ model is one that can be replicated across the country. While we are honored by this national recognition, more importantly, we hope it will inspire others to launch similar programs to increase access to home ownership in their communities,” said Acts Housing President and CEO, Michael Gosman. “As home prices continue to rise significantly year over year, more families are exploring purchasing and rehabbing tax foreclosed properties.”
In 2020, more than 180 Milwaukee and Beloit families closed on new homes. Most of Acts Housing homeowners who purchased and rehabbed their homes last year were persons of color including 43% who identified as Black and 43% who identified as Hispanic.
Acts Housing has set a target of 250 owner-occupied home sales for this year.