Nehemiah Corporation of America

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Nehemiah is a non-profit organization based in Sacramento, California specializing in homeownership, affordable housing and community development through various programs and affiliate organizations.


In 1994, Nehemiah Corporation of America (“Nehemiah”) was established with a $5,000 loan from a small, African American community church, Antioch Progressive Baptist Church, in Sacramento, California for the purpose of promoting homeownership and economic development for underserved populations and communities. Its first project supported the building of affordable senior housing for its congregation.

In 1997, Nehemiah designed and introduced the first privately funded down payment assistance program in the US, The Nehemiah Program. This program offered down payment assistance for low- to moderate-income families who had sufficient credit and income to qualify for a conventional loan but needed funds for a down payment.

From 1997-2008, the Nehemiah Program helped over 325,000 families achieve homeownership and delivered gift funds of over $1.5 billion to households that would otherwise have not been able to afford a down payment on a new home. As part of the Nehemiah Program, homebuyers also received valuable education courses that included financial management skills, budgeting, and credit management principals. While privately funded down payment programs are no longer available due to legislation passed in October 2008, the economic and social benefits of The Nehemiah Program remain visible in our communities.[1]

The Nehemiah Program has assisted over 375,000 low- to moderate-income families working with Realtors, builders and lenders nationwide to provide over $1.5 billion in downpayment gift funds.[citation needed] The Nehemiah Program provided gift funds for downpayment and closing costs to qualified homebuyers using an eligible loan program, such as FHA or a conventional loan that allows gifts from charitable organizations. Gift Funds of 1% to 6% of the final contract sales price were received, depending on the particular needs of the homebuyer. There were 4 basic program requirements:

  • Both the homebuyer and seller must agree to participate in the Nehemiah Program,
  • Homebuyer must use an eligible single-family 1-4 unit loan program such as an FHA loan or a conventional loan that allows gifts from charitable organizations,
  • Homebuyer must purchase a Nehemiah participating home,
  • Homebuyer must be the primary occupant of the property (non-occupant co-borrower(s) may assist primary occupant to qualify for the mortgage).

The Nehemiah Urban Ministry Initiatives, a fund geared toward assisting Urban Christian charitable initiatives, is no longer available.

Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Fund (NCRF)[edit]

NCRF is an affiliated non-profit federally certified community development financial institution dedicated to providing capital and technical assistance to organizations working to revitalize low income neighborhoods, and to provide housing, services, and jobs to underserved people throughout the United States.

NCRF provides loans of $25,000 - $1.5 million to community and faith-based organizations unable to obtain sufficient and affordable financing from conventional lenders. It also invests capital for the creation of equity funds focused on real estate investments in low-income and underserved communities.

These include:

  • Sacramento Valley Fund which was developed to manage the effects of rapid population growth and enhance economic competitiveness and quality of life in the six-county Sacramento region. It invests in real estate projects located in overlooked urban areas to support urban-scale, in-fill development and adaptive mixed use housing, commercial and industrial projects. After investing $1 million for fund development and start-up, Nehemiah raised $30 million from investors to capitalize this private real estate-based equity fund.
  • Genesis LA Real Estate Fund which was the first private real estate based equity fund focused on double bottom line investing in California. This innovative economic initiative targets blighted areas for renovation thus combating high unemployment and poverty. In March 2000, NCRF invested $5 million within the Genesis L.A. Real Estate Fund, serving as the only non-profit corporation to contribute to the project which raised $85 million in capital.

Since 2000, NCRF has provided over $42 million in loans and investment capital for projects focused on affordable and special needs housing, community facilities such as childcare and senior centers, nonprofit offices, and economic development projects, leveraging total project costs of $928.3 million. NCRF has been a catalyst for the revitalization of underserved communities and populations benefiting over 24,600 clients and residents, enabling the development of 4,900 housing units (4.1 million SF of residential and commercial space), creating over 13,900 new jobs.

Nehemiah Community Foundation Inc. (NCF)[edit]

NCF is an affiliated non-profit organization whose purpose is to develop philanthropic partnerships with organizations working in the areas of affordable housing, economic development, and education.

Since its inception in 2000, NCF has contributed nearly $5 million to non-profit organizations throughout the US through grants, sponsorships, and support. NCF contributes to over 100 programs annually to help promote its mission.

Two of the newest NCF programs are the Wealth Empowerment Program and the Emerging Leaders Program. The Wealth Empowerment Program was designed to provide financial literacy training and coaching to households in need. This innovative program leverages a state-of-the-art distance learning platform to provide interactive courses to students across the nation. Meanwhile, the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program was developed in collaboration with the CORO Foundation and the American Leadership Forum (ALF). The Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program aims to develop culturally diverse leaders who can become catalysts for positive change in their workplace and communities.

NCRF Holdings (Holdings)[edit]

NCRF Holdings was formed to drive the development of real estate projects that transform underserved and distressed communities by stimulating the local economy, creating jobs, and housing for all population groups while simultaneously leveraging private and public capital and partnerships. Two current projects under development are Township 9 — a 65-acre, mixed-use, urban infill, transit-oriented, state-of-the-art project located on the northern edge of downtown Sacramento including 2,600 residential units, 800,000 SF of office space and 150,000 SF of retail space — and East End Gateway Project Site 1 — is a nine-story mid-rise, mixed-use project that will include 117 housing units (of which 95 are Workforce for Sale housing units), 6,000 SF of ground-level retail, and 8,000 SF of open space located one-half block from the state capitol in downtown Sacramento.


  1. ^ Milkin Study

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