Creating Early Learning and Affordable Housing Together
Our Home and Hope initiative aims to expand access to early learning for residents of affordable housing and their surrounding communities. Enterprise worked with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) to provide priority in the competition for tax-exempt bond financing and 4 percent low income housing tax credit applications, by way of application points. The result was that over half of the projects funded in this round will be including early learning centers. This includes projects in Covington, Des Moines, Everett, Seattle and Shoreline. One awardee, Cedar Crossing in the Roosevelt neighborhood of Seattle received an early investment from Enterprise; when a Section 4 capacity building grant to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association helped the neighborhood shape Sound Transit’s RFP for the site. Bellwether Housing and Mercy Housing will break ground this year on a development that will provide significant affordable housing as well as an early learning center by El Centro de la Raza in this high opportunity, transit-oriented location. Enterprise is currently reaching out to developers across Washington to provide technical assistance and financing to help develop quality early learning opportunities. This was the first year the Commission included points for early learning centers, and Enterprise will continue to provide support for fine tuning policy and supporting developers and early learning providers to create great early learning opportunities for children.