Faith-based groups to launch $4.5 million in affordable housing assistance programs today

by Rebecca Mowbray, The Times-Picayune
Thursday May 15, 2008, 10:50 AM

A diverse group of faith-based organizations has raised $4.5 million to create two new disaster relief funds that will help affordable housing projects close financing gaps and help small businesses get back on their feet.

The Isaiah Funds, a project of Catholic, Jewish, Mennonite and Baptist institutions, is believed to be the first national interfaith fund for long-term domestic disaster recovery.

The groups, which have been active in volunteer efforts after Hurricane Katrina, say they recognize that some of the hardest rebuilding work still lies ahead, and providing long-term, low-cost, flexible capital is one of the best ways they can continue to help.

The two funds, one for loans and one for grants, will initially focus on low-income communities on the Gulf Coast. The first set of grants and loans will be announced this morning.

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