Historic Rehabilitation Grants to Help Transform Nine Communities Nationwide Service Members, Teens Emerging from Foster Care to Benefit

WASHINGTON, DC (October 8, 2009) - The National Trust Loan Fund announced today $663,000 in grants to nine rehabilitation projects that will help transform older and historic communities nationwide.

The projects will benefit service men and women in Columbus, Ga., teens "aging out" of the foster care system in Los Angeles County and the homeless Native American women and children in Duluth, Minn, among many others by focusing on affordable housing projects. Seven of the grants support large-scale, affordable projects that create more than 170 units. Together, the projects represent more than $188 million in total development costs and reflect a variety of project goals and design.

The Trust's Transformative Grant program provides funding to developers of older and historic real estate projects that have high community impact but are stalled or hampered by insufficient funding.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports the program, which focuses on preservation-based community development in the 26 communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers as well as Pontiac, Michigan, and Gulfport, Mississippi.

Knight Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation share a commitment to support reinvestment in older and historic properties as a means to stimulate community development.

"The high quality of these projects, the historic resources they return to productive use, and the impact these projects will have on their respective communities is truly remarkable," said Lauri M. Michel, Vice President of Community Revitalization for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The projects exemplify core values of the National Trust: that the reuse of historic buildings and reinvestment in existing communities to meet modern needs are key principles of sustainable development."

The nine projects support the adaptive reuse and preservation of existing historic assets and in many cases include a green building component.

"These projects have the power to create a new sense of place and life in historic areas," said Damian Thorman, National Program Director for Knight Foundation.

The grants go to recipients across the country, with the exception of the southwestern U.S., where there are no Knight cities. The nine grantees and the grant amounts are listed here:

  • California
    • $100,000 to LINC Housing Corporation of Long Beach for the rehabilitation of the former Palace Hotel into transitional housing for children who have aged out of foster care.
  • Georgia
    • $100,000 to Affordable Housing Solutions, Inc. of Columbus for the rehabilitation of the Empire Building into 23 one-bedroom apartments.
  • Kansas
    • $75,000 to Landmark Investment Group of Wichita for the payment of architectural fees, historic district nomination and stabilization repairs for a low-income housing project.
  • Kentucky
    • $20,000 to Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation for the provision of low-VOC paint for the maintenance of historic properties.
  • Michigan
    • $100,000 to College for Creative Studies of Detroit for the rehabilitation of a General Motors research lab into a "green" arts education campus.
  • Minnesota:
    • $100,000 to American Indian Community Housing Organization of Duluth for the rehabilitation of historic building to support housing creation and the American Indian Community Center.
    • $100,000 to AEON of St. Paul for the rehabilitation of a vacant historic building into 67 affordable housing units.
  • Mississippi
    • $25,000 to Biloxi Housing Authority for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the NAACP building.
  • Pennsylvania
    • $43,000 to Wagner Free Institute of Philadelphia for the payment of closing costs and loan interest that will fund repair and for sustainability upgrades for a museum building.

For more information, please contact Paul Thorbjornsen of the National Trust Loan Fund at 202.588.6360.


About the National Trust Loan Fund

The National Trust Loan Fund is managed by a not-for-profit subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Loan Fund focuses its financial and technical assistance products in low-, moderate-, and mixed-income neighborhoods and communities that are rich in historic resources. The ultimate goal is the economic rebirth of sustainable livable communities through historic preservation. The National Trust Loan Fund has provided over $26 million in preservation-based community development lending. The National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, nine regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places that builds upon our pasts and helps to shape our futures.

For more information about the National Trust Loan Fund call the National Trust Loan Fund at (202) 588-6360 or email NationalTrust_LoanFund@nthp.org. For press inquiries, call 202.588.6141 or email pr@nthp.org.

About The John S and James L Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org. For press inquiries, call Marc Fest, vice president for communications, at 305-908-2677 or e-mail fest@knightfoundation.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.