Adolphus M. Pruitt: Responding to the Access to Capital Crisis for Underserved Communities in St. Louis | Guest columnists

Homeownership and the ability to invest and maintain a family’s most important asset – their home – is essential to building community wealth. The City’s Properties-Rated Clean Energy Program, known as Pace, addresses this need by providing funding for vital energy and maintenance repairs and upgrades. The program covers 100% of the costs of new heating and air conditioning systems, roofing, doors and windows and other energy upgrades, which are among hundreds of projects in the north of the city.

In fact, what is remarkable about the Pace financing tool is that the terms and rates are the same for everyone, regardless of the zip code in which the residents live. This is in stark contrast to traditional loan models which often do not meet the capital needs of our communities.

Set the Pace St. Louis also ensures that the economic opportunities of the program are available to local minority and women owned businesses. Over the past four years, the Ygrene Energy Fund program administrator has organized numerous training sessions and pre-apprenticeship workshops in partnership with Mokan, the main support center for minority and women entrepreneurs in our region. . In 2017, Mokan awarded Ygrene Energy Fund with a Community Partnership Award for the director’s commitment to equity and inclusion.

When traditional lending institutions and mortgage banks have been shown to disproportionately lend to whites and not to blacks, the Pace program has helped solve the problem of access to capital by providing finance to African families. US for critical home improvement and maintenance needs.

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