Opportunity Fund Partners with Non-profit, Jumpstarts Stalled Project for Formerly Incarcerated Men
For 13 years, the faith-based nonprofit organization, Nothing Into Something Real Estate, Inc (NISRE), envisioned piloting an innovative solution to address Columbus’s growing shortage of affordable homes. In 2016, the development of an affordable housing community commenced on a lot owned by the non-profit, but then stopped shortly thereafter due to third-party circumstances. The project remained stalled until 2019, when the Opportunity Zone Development Group (OZDG) partnered with NISRE to breathe new life into the project and reposition it as a mixed-use building called “The Phoenix Community” which will provide affordable housing and support services to residents transitioning from incarceration.
People who have been incarcerated are up to 13 times more likely to experience homelessness compared to the general public, and pre-pandemic, the unemployment rate among formerly incarcerated individuals was 27 percent. Housing insecurity and unemployment are among multiple contributing factors that lead to the nation’s high recidivism rate. By providing affordable homes and support services at The Phoenix Community, OZDG and NISRE are helping to break the cycle of incarceration for individuals transitioning back into communities.
The Phoenix Community is a 50-bed residence with new office space for NISRE on the first fl oor. The non-profit has a con tract with the State of Ohio to ope rate res torative, supportive housing programs such as this and will lease the property for 15 years at a predetermined rate. Once OZDG exits the investment in year-10, NISRE has first right of refusal to purchase the property so it may remain a beacon of hope in the community.