Everyone deserves safe, affordable housing.

Better Community Neighborhoods, Inc. repairs homes in Schenectady neighborhoods so that they can be purchased by low-income homebuyers. BCNI also provides grants to homeowners to make critical repairs to homes.

“Having access to safe, quality housing that people can afford to live in provides foundational stability and peace of mind for families to begin to address other life priorities such as education and job training goals,”says Jennica Huff, Executive Director for BCNI, Inc. “The lack of safe, affordable housing is not unique to Schenectady.  There is a shortage of housing across our nation as a result of the housing crash in 2008 and market trends over the past decade moving away from homeownership to rental in larger cities.”

This month, the Community Loan Fund closed on a $200,000 loan to Better Community Neighborhoods, Inc. to perform needed repairs on owner-occupied homes that will allow homeowners to continue to live in their residences and improve local housing stock.

“The Community Loan Fund is critical to the work of affordable housing because of the initial risk that is inherent in the work that we do.  The Community Loan Fund joins us in taking this risk by being the first investor stakeholder in the development effort.  This gives the development agency and legitimacy which leverages other sources of funding into the development effort,” says Huff.

Better Community Neighborhoods, Inc. (BCNI) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization recently created as the result of a merger between two well-established not-for-profits based in the City of Schenectady—Better Neighborhoods Inc. and the Community Land Trust of Schenectady. (Established on 1/15/20)

BCNI has a critical role in Schenectady’s citywide and comprehensive smart growth plan as the lead organization focused on neighborhood renewal, capital development and related services including housing counseling and financial literacy.

BCNI originated in response to expanding opportunities arising from the rapid economic resurgence of downtown Schenectady’s central business district. In 2017, community leaders from existing development organizations, government, and philanthropy convened to design strategies to bolster and leverage the existing strengths of neighborhood based development efforts.

Huff says the loan will help the organization to better manage cashflow in a meaningful way without encumbering additional assets to do so.