Three decades ago, residents of neighboring communities in Midcoast Maine discovered that a local family was living in the hollow of a bridge over the Sheepscot River. What started out as a simple effort to house the family soon expanded as a broader issue came to light—the lack of affordable housing in their rural communities.
Addressing Racial Equity Through Our Work
There is much to be done to bring justice and equity to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in Maine, Northern New England, and beyond. As a CDFI, the Genesis Fund is part of an industry that emerged from the civil rights movement with the explicit goal of addressing the systemic racism that has denied communities of color access
How Genesis Responded to the Pandemic
We had just experienced one of the Genesis Fund’s most remarkable years ever, with success in 2019 across all categories: lending activity, growth of the fund through investments and fundraising, and deployment of vital professional expertise to guide nonprofit partners moving projects forward. And then came COVID-19. Businesses shuttered. Offices emptied. Schools quieted. Families facing illness, eviction, lost work, food
Genesis Offers Muslim Borrowers a Path to Ownership by Filling a Gap in the Lending Market
For aspiring business owners like Yassin Moussa of Lewiston, Maine, acquiring a loan is often a critical step in embarking on a new enterprise. But for Yassin and others who practice the Islamic faith, the process can be complicated. Many Muslim borrowers are prohibited by their faith practice from paying interest to borrow funds. Most traditional lenders have been unable
Preserving Rural Rental Housing Financed by the USDA
For residents who want to “age in place” in their home communities, for members of the workforce, including parents heading single-income houses and workers with disabilities—basically, for everyone who needs affordable rural rental housing like Lester Hersey’s in Aroostook County, Maine (above), it is as important to preserve existing units as it is to build more of them. That’s why
Cooperative Ownership Transforms Mobile Home Communities
Cooperative Ownership Transforms Mobile Home CommunitiesIn rural communities throughout Northern New England, mobile home communities are a key piece of the “naturally occurring” affordable housing infrastructure. But they are sometimes sold to investor-owners who drive out residents and eliminate affordability.