Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition Reaches New Milestone,
Launches the Lead Safe Home Fund

Coalition seeking Lead Safe Home Fund Administrators

CLEVELAND – Today the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition reached another milestone in its initial five-point action plan by launching the Lead Safe Home Fund, a streamlined structure to provide families and property owners the resources they need to create lead safe homes. The Coalition released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to experienced and capable entities who may be interested in serving as the Lead Safe Home Fund Administrators.

“The Lead Safe Home Fund Administrators will play an unmistakably critical role in the work to create a lead safe Cleveland,” said Marcia Egbert, Senior Program Officer at The George Gund Foundation and Chair of the Resource Development Committee. “From day one, we’ve emphasized the need to prevent lead poisoning before it happens. That requires both policy change and a well-resourced prevention system. The Lead Safe Home Fund is the vehicle for that system, and the Administrators will be in the driver’s seat.”

The Coalition seeks to identify entities with the capacity to administer the two critical functions of the Fund: Home Loans and Grants and the Lead Safe Resource Center. Interested entities can submit a response to serve as Administrator of one or both functions for the next five years beginning in 2020. The Coalition encourages two or more entities to partner on the Administrator roles and submit a joint response. 

The Loans and Grants Administrator(s) will help create, manage, and operate a substantial, sustainable fund with a variety of financial products sourced from different sectors to support property owner compliance with the Lead Safe Certificate system. Among other criteria, respondents should be lenders with a history of strong financial performance, a demonstrated ability to manage complex financial products and a high volume of individual transactions, and a functional lending platform. 

The Resource Center Administrator(s) will establish and manage a Lead Safe Resource Center, which will serve as the operational headquarters and trusted one-stop-shop for lead poisoning-related prevention programs, activities, and outreach. Among other criteria, respondents should be mission-driven organizations with a history of managing multiple related programs simultaneously, working in collaborative partnerships, and a strong track record of authentic community engagement. 

The Coalition has been working for months to structure and capitalize a transparent and flexible Lead Safe Home Fund—managed outside of government—that supports effective, enforceable, and equitable solutions for property owners and families. Based on research, data collection, and modeling, the Coalition has developed a five-year, $99.4 million Lead Safe Home Fund budget.

“We are proud of the rigor and work put into the Lead Safe Home Fund budget. It is smart and measured but signifies the true need,” said Augie Napoli, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland and Steering Committee Member. “Now is the time to make these investments in our homes and in our families. The need is substantial, but our community, across all sectors, is ready to step up and protect our children from lead poisoning.” 

The Coalition will continue investor outreach and fundraising for the Lead Safe Home Fund with support from the Resource Development Committee and the Steering Committee. In addition to an initial $2 million seed investment from the State of Ohio, other targeted investment sources include local and federal government, community development financial institutions, organized philanthropy, corporations, anchor institutions, banks and other financial institutions, and more.

“The Coalition will move as quickly as the resources allow to assist our City partners in getting the Lead Safe Certificate system up and running. It’s not lost on us that the Administrators will be co-creating a sustainable, long-term transformation in the way we do business through this new Fund. We need Administrators ready to roll up their sleeves on Day 1 and work in partnership at all levels. That’s been the spirit of the Coalition from the start.” said Egbert.

RFQ responses are due to Enterprise Community Partners by October 18, 2019. The Coalition hopes to publicly announce selected Administrator(s) by January 2020. 
For questions regarding the RFQ: Please contact Wyonette Cheairs at Enterprise Community Partners at 216-631-0280 ext. 4139 or wcheairs@enterprisecommunity.org. 

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