Richmond, CA community foundation uses social impact bonds to revitalize blight

The stone-facade house on 17th Street looked as if it needed some love with its brown grass and boarded-up windows.

With the help of the Richmond Community Foundation, it will be getting exactly that in the coming months.

Thanks to $3 million in social impact bonds, purchased by Mechanics Bank, the organization will be working to rehabilitate long-abandoned homes in the city and resell them to first-time homebuyers.

The 17th Street house will be the first of this project; there are currently about 150 abandoned houses in Richmond.

The (social impact bond) does really permit us to do some incredible work in Richmond,” said Jim Becker, president and CEO of the foundation.

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