December 14, 2020

An Equitable Path Forward: New $3.5B Initiative

Equitable Path Forward

After decades of systemic racism in housing – from government-sanctioned discrimination like redlining and race-based federal mortgage programs, to restrictive deed covenants based on the color of your skin, to predatory lending and discriminatory property tax collection – our communities bear the scars. These policies and practices have led to:

  • Residential segregation.
  • Home ownership rates for white Americans that are nearly twice as high than for Black Americans.
  • A widening wealth gap with the median net worth of a white household nearly eight times that of a Black household.
  • The real estate industry itself where only 2% of development companies are Black-led.
  • Just 1.5% of real estate assets under management are controlled by minority-owned firms. Even among community development corporations, only 16% are minority-led.

These disparities have been driven by a range of factors, among which, historically, housing providers of color – despite community knowledge and credibility – have been unable to access sufficient capital for sustained growth of their operations and real estate portfolios.

Our vision is nothing short of dismantling the legacy of racism in housing, as Priscilla shared during a Washington Post Live event on the racial wealth gap. Together with our partners, we will close the racial disparities in the housing industry that perpetuate the racial disparities in our communities. To do so, we need to rebalance power and profit in our industry.

An Equitable Path Forward for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (“BIPOC”) and other Historically Marginalized Housing Providers

Together with our colleagues across Enterprise, and with a $25 million commitment from Netflix, we are excited to announce Equitable Path Forward, a new five-year, $3.5 billion nationwide initiative to help dismantle the deeply-rooted legacy of racism in housing – from the types of homes that are built, where they’re built, who builds them, and the wealth that is generated from them. 

The multipronged initiative establishes an equitable path forward for BIPOC and other historically marginalized housing providers by:

  • Filling the gaping capital gap from decades of systemic racism
  • Strengthening providers through advisory services and other nonfinancial support
  • Creating new career pathways to diversify leadership in real estate

By investing in housing providers who are on the ground and engaged with their community, Equitable Path Forward will lead to a new and needed level of responsiveness, investment and equity in the communities that get built.

Enterprise will leverage $10 million of our own capital, as well as our expertise and unique end-to-end platform to do our part. A big thanks to Netflix for their support and leadership on this issue.

"Black and other historically marginalized leaders have been fighting to better their communities for decades but have lacked the capital to do so. That’s why Netflix is investing $25 million in Enterprise’s initiative," said Netflix Treasury Director Shannon Alwyn.

A Multipronged Initiative to Rebalance Power and Profit in Housing

We know from decades of experience in the housing industry that a single approach to this challenge isn’t enough. With that in mind, this $3.5 billion effort is inclusive of three main pillars:

  1. A $350 million Growth Fund that will provide debt, equity, grants and innovative credit enhancement that together will attract an additional $3.1 billion of capital.
  2. $15 million program for cultivation of local development organizations and small businesses.
  3. $10 million, two-year leadership program – modeled after the distinguished rotational programs at major industrial and financial firms.

See further details about Equitable Path Forward.

As three BIPOC leaders ourselves, we could not be more proud to spearhead this major initiative of our new, five-year Strategic Plan. Equitable Path Forward capital and expertise will be deployed nationally, with a focus in the cities and regions served by Enterprise across the U.S.

Join us.

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