October 2, 2019

Listen Now: The Building Blocks Podcast

Building Blocks Podcast header

Have you tuned in to our Building Blocks podcast yet? 

No? Well, do you have 25 minutes to spare – perhaps on your commute home? 

Building Blocks: Connecting People, Places and Policy, hosted by Enterprise Community Partners President Laurel Blatchford, serves a space for thought-provoking conversations about the current issues, trends, ideas and big questions facing the affordable housing and community development fields in the United States.  

Each episode dives deep on a different cross-sector topic, including health, language and messaging, disaster resilience and recovery, and more.  

Building Blocks is available on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.

Episode 9: Healthy Solutions for Affordable Housing

Recently, Enterprise released a nationwide survey that illustrated how housing costs are undermining the health needs of American renters, many of whom are sacrificing medical care in order to pay rent. Faced with a shortage of affordable, quality, stable housing, low-income renters often lack access to sufficient health care and outdoor spaces, further contributing to poor health outcomes, including asthma, obesity, mental health challenges, and more.

Laurel and Enterprise board member Dr. Megan Sandel, associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, discuss initiatives across our industries that are elevating resident and community health as a priority in the development and preservation of affordable housing.

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Episode 8: Enterprise Advisors: Finding a Frame for Affordable Housing

Across the country, rural and urban communities are feeling the impact of the affordable housing shortage whether that’s due to aging housing stock, community displacement, gentrification, or a lack of investment.

And yet, so much work still needs to be done to build public support for affordable housing policies and programs..

On episode eight, Dr. Tiffany Manuel of CaseMade introduces her work with the FrameWorks Institute on increasing support for the housing movement through strategic messaging and helping people understand why quality, affordable housing is vital to our collective prosperity, especially in the upcoming election.

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Episode 7: Enterprise Advisors: A Catalyst for Community Success

Enterprise Advisors, the technical assistance and consulting leg of the Enterprise network, has quickly solidified their place as an industry leader through cross-disciplinary initiatives like disaster recovery and resilience, the National Resource Network, and, most recently, Opportunity Zones.

In the years following their creation, the Advisors team has expanded their framework from exclusively federal contracts to an increasingly diverse set of public and private partnerships that have elevated new ideas and standards for more equitable and inclusive communities.

On this episode, Laurel is joined by Patrick Jordan, vice president of Enterprise Advisors, to discuss the strategic opportunities created through mission-driven consulting and the impact we can expect from the team in the future.

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Episode 6: Building Back Better: Puerto Rico Update

Several themes have become clear on the island of Puerto Rico as local and national partners coordinate the delicate process of response, recovery, and reconstruction following Hurricane Maria.

Meanwhile, the true impact of the storm and the resulting mass-exodus of the island’s population is still unfolding.

As the one-year anniversary of the vicious storm approached, Laurel reached out to Enterprise experts Erika Ruiz, director of Enterprise Advisors, and Laurie Schoeman, senior program director of Resilience Initiatives, about the role Enterprise is taking to support and guide the nonprofit and government sectors through a multifaceted island wide recovery.

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Episode 5: Opportunity Zones: Promises and Pitfalls

The Opportunity Zones initiative has been considered an exciting, new economic development opportunity funneling an estimated $6 trillion in unrealized capital gains into qualified low-income census tracts across the United States. 

However, several questions have emerged throughout the nomination process around topics like:

  • The creation of Opportunity Funds
  • Selecting qualified census tracts
  • The potential for community displacement
  • Who exactly stands to benefit from this economic incentive program.

Laurel talks with former Enterprise Director of Impact Investing Rachel Reilly and National, State and Local Policy Director Flora Arabo to deconstruct Opportunity Zones and explore the potential impacts.

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Episode 4: Tenants' Rights and Anti-Displacement Advocacy

The combination of stagnating wages, increased rents, and aging housing stocks has created a shortage of decent, safe, and affordable housing across the United States.

So what happens to those who aren’t able to keep up with the growing cost burden? At a rapidly increasing rate, the answer is eviction.

Most often occurring in communities with low median incomes and high rates of foreclosure, the consequences of eviction and forced displacement can have profound effects on both the individual family and the broader community. Laurel is joined by Enterprise Vice President of National. Initiatives and Denver Market Leader Melinda Pollack to discuss renters' rights, anti-displacement, and preservation advocacy in the city of Denver.

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Episode 3: Advancing Opportunity with Opportunity360

Can better data improve America’s opportunity gap?

Laurel sits down with Dr. Tiffany Manuel to identify the key barriers and pathways to opportunity across the United States. Through the Opportunity360 tool, Enterprise is working to catalyze stakeholders for better housing investment decisions and more targeted community development interventions.

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Episode 2: Faith-Based Development Initiative

Can unlocking land supply be the key to increasing affordable housing production?

On this episode of Building Blocks Laurel Blatchford and Enterprise Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Market Leader David Bowers discuss moving tax-exempt land owned by houses of worship into the development pipeline to create homes for low- to moderate-income communities.

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Episode 1: Disaster Recovery and Planning

After a devastating 2017 hurricane season, how can we help communities recover better, smarter, and more equitably?

Laurel talks with Enterprise Vice President of Public Policy Marion McFadden and Enterprise Vice President and Gulf Coast Market Leader Michelle Whetten aboutprogrammatic and policy responses in the short- and long-term in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma.

Listen Now

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