Interest questionnaires are now open through July 15 for our Faith-Based Development Initiative (FBDI) in the Puget Sound.

Supported through a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, the program empowers faith-based organizations to craft a vision to develop underutilized real estate assets into affordable homes and community facilities. With a geographic focus on faith-based organizations in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in Washington, the program launched with an informational webinar that provided a program overview and featured faith-based organizations and developers.  Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

Interested organizations will be notified in mid-August of their acceptance in the program, which starts with a kick-off convening in September.

The Challenge and Opportunity

The high cost and scarcity of land in many cities is a barrier to the production of affordable homes, leaving many families overburdened by increasing rents and facing housing insecurity. According to the Puget Sound Regional Council’s 2022 Regional Housing Needs Assessment, 810,000 homes need to be created to accommodate growth by 2050, of which 275,000 must be affordable to households below 80 percent of the area median income.

Currently, many faith-based organizations are struggling with underutilized and aging facilities, declining memberships, changing neighborhood demographics and changing priorities. Affordable housing development can help faith-based organizations to grow their mission, capacity and financial health while serving their congregations and communities in new, expanded ways. 

The Approach

While land owned by faith-based organizations is a powerful community development tool, faith leaders typically do not have experience in developing affordable housing. Those organizations with a desire to transform their unused or underutilized property need partners with expertise in affordable housing to make that process less complex and the results more powerful. 

Through our FBDI program, faith-based organizations can access the resources and tools to navigate the development process. 

Grants and capital: Grant funding and access to Enterprise capital products help faith-based organizations advance their projects from vision to completion. Grants will support market study and feasibility analysis, early pre-development and organizational capacity building.

Training: Training helps faith-based organizations understand and navigate the development process to advance their development projects.

Technical assistance and tools: Participating faith-based organizations have access to technical assistance to help them connect to resources to address project-specific challenges.

Peer-to-Peer Learning: Peer learning helps faith leaders advance their projects and engages them in advocacy for affordable housing and community development.

Access to Vetted Partners: Participating faith-based organizations receive referrals to local development industry partners that they can interview to find the right fit to advance their projects.

Join the Pacific Northwest Program

Faith-based organizations will have the opportunity to join with aligned organizations to begin or continue their affordable housing development.

Each participating faith-based organization will identify a leader or leaders to participate in the trainings, which cover:

  • An introduction to real estate development
  • Organizational readiness and visioning
  • Site and building design
  • Community engagement
  • Planning and zoning
  • Basic deal structuring and partnerships
  • Project financing
  • Property management and compliance

Training sessions will be conducted monthly, with supplemental discussion meetings for the entire cohort to digest the information and ask questions. Additionally, monthly one-on-one meetings with each faith organization will allow for tailored support and technical assistance. 

After completing the training sessions, the cohort of faith-based organizations will stay connected through continued engagement and resources, including grant and financing opportunities and technical assistance. 

For more information and to get on our Pacific Northwest FBDI list, contact Jess Blanch, program director.