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Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Developer: Community Male Empowerment Project

Melvin Bailey is helping put his neighborhood to work, and inspiring and empowering along the way. Bailey is the Executive Director of the Community Male Empowerment Project (CMEP), one of the qualified developers that are working with the City of Chicago’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to rehabilitate foreclosed properties in targeted neighborhoods. The City has been awarded three federal grants totaling more than $169 million for the program, which aims to mitigate the foreclosure crisis and prevent neighborhood decline, as blighted buildings are refashioned into homes. CMEP is a nonprofit with a mission to build public/private partnerships that help people rise above often troubled pasts. For NSP, Bailey has hired sub-contractors and workers from the surrounding neighborhood, some of whom live on the same block as the project site in East Garfield Park.

“I let them know I’m from the community, and we want to change lives…we want our workers to look, ask questions, build skills and learn the process, so they can move on to even more success,” says Bailey. CCLF is partnering with the City of Chicago NSP and Mercy Portfolio Services, using our experience and infrastructure to provide construction financing. So far, CCLF has provided three construction loans to CMEP and almost 20 loans to other NSP developers, with many more to come. Bailey says that the homes CMEP has worked on have created a watershed effect. “I’ve met everyone on the block, in the neighborhood. They all come by to see what’s happening here, and seeing progress made in their neighborhood makes a difference.”

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