Digital banking platform Rallius
is launching a $2 million pilot program in Milwaukee to finance the development of 20 affordable housing units in the city. The pilot program aims to increase the number of quality, livable homes that cost less than $200,000, which in turn will help address the racial gap in home ownership in Milwaukee.
The pilot program is in part led by local angel investor Teresa Esser
, who was managing director of Silicon Pastures Angel Investment Network for over 15 years before making the switch to socially conscious Rallius, which was founded by her college roommate, Geeta Sankappanavar.
“We are extremely proud that Milwaukee was chosen as Rallius’ first city partner to accelerate wealth building for marginalized communities,” said Esser, who is managing director of community banking at Rallius. “This affordable housing pilot will attract and accelerate capital investment into Milwaukee’s inner city neighborhoods, and in turn, help fight systemic inequality and provide access to wealth creation for minority communities.”
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Rallius aims to promote activism by providing environmental, social and governance (ESG) banking solutions to a range of clients, including nonprofit organizations. During the past year, Rallius worked in partnership with the Rotary Club of Milwaukee’s
Invest in Milwaukee Committee to conduct research and community-building to further understand the needs of the community. This led to the development of the affordable housing pilot.
“The Rotary Club of Milwaukee is delighted to get behind the entrepreneurial efforts and spirit of Rallius as they bring new ideas to grow the affordable housing stock in Milwaukee," said Mary McCormick, executive director of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.
Rallius’ affordable housing pilot builds upon the work done by Milwaukee’s Community Development Alliance
, which led a 10-year investigation into the housing needs of Milwaukee residents. Once the pilot is complete, Rallius expects to exponentially scale the learnings, bringing more affordable housing projects to new neighborhoods