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Housing and Dreams Delayed

High school program revitalizes communities and equips students for employment and homeownership

High school program revitalizes communities and equips students for employment and homeownership

Single-FamilyEducationEcon Opp

Build UP

Birmingham, Alabama

Can a workforce training program focused on skilled trades for high school students increase high school graduation rates, add to the supply of affordable housing, and provide better employment outcomes?

The project with Build UP prepares high school students for careers in the skilled trades through paid apprenticeships. Students apply new skills as they rehab blighted properties, adding to the supply of affordable housing. Over the course of the six-year program, students earn a high school diploma, an associate degree, and other credentials. Upon graduation, they receive the deeds to two properties — one to live in and one to rent.

With a contract award from Fannie Mae, the Build UP team has been able to:

  • Hire a community development financial institution (CDFI) consultant to support Build UP’s executive leadership team on the necessary steps required to become a CDFI.
  • Successfully complete expansion plans to support launch of the program at a second site.

By the end of the contract with Fannie Mae, Build UP will have opened the second site in Titusville, AL, and developed expansion plans to support growth opportunities out of state.

Since receiving the contract award from Fannie Mae, Build UP has received a $1.25 million grant to begin expansion of their program to Cleveland, OH.

Watch the video to see how Build UP is revitalizing communities and increasing affordable housing supply while preparing students for careers and homeownership.

Build UP is the nation’s first workforce development high school to address poverty in underserved communities, empowering youth to become educated, career-ready homeowners and landlords. The organization equips youth with the tools to acquire a self-directed, career-focused education, gain knowledge and skills in a high-demand field, and own homes and rental property to build wealth and earn income.

Increasing Housing Supply Through an Integrated Education Program

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