Rocket Community Fund, an investment fund managed by online lender Rocket Mortgage, is working with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership to preserve affordable housing units and reduce economic inequality along the city’s Beltline.
The 22-mile planned loop around the city’s core has received plaudits from around the country for its ability to help make Atlanta more walkable and accessible since its inception.
The fund is contributing a total $750,000 to both organizations, ensuring legacy residents near the BeltLine are able to avoid displacement, while also shrinking the homeownership gap by increasing accessibility to BeltLine-adjacent housing, according to a Rocket Community Fund press release.
The RCF will donate $500,000 to the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s Legacy Resident Retention Program, an initiative that helps qualifying residents in BeltLine-adjacent neighborhoods located in the western and southern parts of the city afford rising property taxes. The program pays these residents’ property taxes until the 2030 tax year. Residents must earn less than 100% of the area median income for the size of their respective household in order to qualify for assistance.
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership will specifically use the contribution from RCF to cover 44 of these households’ property taxes.
“We are deeply thankful for Rocket Community Fund’s generous donation,” said the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s executive director Rob Brawner in the press release. “Their commitment to supporting the people of Atlanta and preserving generational wealth will ensure residents are able to live, work, and thrive in Atlanta BeltLine communities.”
The remaining $250,000 will fund the ANDP’s campaign to improve racial inequity within Atlanta. According to the press release, the ANDP will use the Rocket Community Fund’s contributions to build and preserve 2,000 affordable housing units by 2025, allowing lower-income families to build generational wealth through homeownership. In doing so, the partnership will also be able to invest over $50 million into Black-owned construction businesses through loans and contracts.
“Access to finance and collateral has reduced people of color’s capacity. This has led to a loss of wealth, more debt, and less down payment savings, which can lead to community dissolution,” said John O’Callaghan in the release, president and CEO of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. “With this investment from the Rocket Community Fund, ANDP will have a greater impact across marginalized areas.”
According to its website, Rocket Community Fund contributes to programs that combat homelessness, prevent residential displacement and help lower-income households generate wealth through obtaining homeownership. Headquartered in Detroit, the fund began working with organizations in Atlanta to address the city’s soaring economic inequality rate and plunging upward mobility rate. The RCF has forged similar partnerships with organizations in Detroit and Cleveland.
“We believe everyone deserves a safe and stable place to call home. These investments with deep-rooted community partners like ABP and ANDP are a critical first step to addressing one of the most urgent needs of the Atlanta community,” said Laura Grannemann in the press release, Rocket Community Fund’s vice president of strategic investments. “Our work in Detroit has shown us how a dedicated group of partners can drive systemic change and more equitable outcomes. We look forward to supporting that change in Atlanta.”