The Ford Foundation will open its first Detroit office in 64 years, reports Automotive News, as the private, New York-based foundation commits to an initiative to provide affordable housing in the city.
“They will be working from Detroit and working with grantee partners there so we don’t have to have staff parachute in and out,” Ford Foundation President Darren Walker told Crain’s Detroit Business – an Automotive News affiliate. “I think it’s important because having someone close to the ground, someone working in the city, is a more effective way to do our work.”
The move follows other landmark efforts the foundation has made to strengthen its bond with the city in which it was founded, such as a $125-million contribution to settle Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy and protect its art collection from creditors, according to Automotive News. Later, in 2015, the Ford Foundation held its first annual board meeting in Detroit since 1948.
The Ford Foundation will pay out grants of $15 million annually in Detroit, to be overseen by its new Detroit program officer. That’s in addition to the $8.5 million the foundation is already paying annually for its $125-million contribution to Detroit’s bankruptcy.