During a recent leadership training, I learned a new term: VUCA. It stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
We have been reflecting on the past year, and VUCA seems to aptly describe it. At Enterprise, we persevered through this challenging year together, motivated by our mission that everyone has a safe place to call home.
Another term that describes the year is ‘VOILA.’ In our year-end roundup, we're sharing a snapshot of our 2021 highlights. I am incredibly proud of our Northern California team and all that we have been able to accomplish this year in partnership with all of you.
May your 2022 be peaceful and inspired by what is possible.
VP and Northern California Market Leader
Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities
With the support of Enterprise and partners, the state made the encouraging decision to add an additional $380 million of cap-and-trade auction proceeds to the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities notice of funding availability (NOFA) for Round 6. This brings the total amount available for competitive awards to an all-time high of $785 million.
The increased NOFA will enable a greater number of transformative integrated housing and sustainable infrastructure projects to be funded more efficiently across more parts of the state. Enterprise provided technical assistance on 37 of the 54 submitted Round 5 applications. Awards will be announced in January 2022.
Bay Area Housing Finance Authority
In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom included a $20 million appropriation in the 2021 State Budget for the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) to seed five new pilot programs. This funding for BAHFA was secured through the advocacy efforts of the Bay Area Housing for All Coalition (BAHA), which Enterprise co-leads, as well as our legislative champions in Sacramento, including former Assemblymember David Chiu.
BAHFA will hire its inaugural director and staff in the upcoming months and launch its business plan that leads with a robust racial equity framework. The BAHA coalition continues to pursue catalytic affordable housing resources, including a regional $10 billion general obligation bond measure and federal and state appropriations, to activate and resource BAHFA to protect current residents from displacement, preserve affordable housing and produce new affordable housing.
Central Valley Displacement Studies
Our Central Valley-based staff has been hard at work wrapping up final edits to their forthcoming report examining the causes and impacts of gentrification and displacement in San Joaquin County. With support from the San Joaquin Council of Governments and UC Davis Center for Regional Change, the report and risk mapping tool will be formally launched in late February at a virtual symposium.
Launched in October, the goal of the Community Powered Resilience program is to change how California plans for and responds to disasters so that frontline communities have agency, safety, and dignity. The signature website of the program offers concise resources on how to equitably plan for and respond to disasters and actions that community organizations, philanthropy and local government can take right now.
Enterprise worked with the Governor's office and the state to develop and implement strategies for using Homekey 1.0 funds, which funded 94 projects consisting of 5,911 units throughout California. With the help of public and private partners, Enterprise deployed $46 million in philanthropic funds directly to 45 grantees, supporting operating costs and wraparound services for more than 2,100 of these homes.
Enterprise continues to support Homekey 2.0 efforts by providing high-touch technical assistance to applicants. Learn more in the State of California 2021 Social Innovation Impact Report.
In March 2021, the HOPE SF partnership launched the Small Grants Program to uplift resident-led projects within the four HOPE SF communities. This program has supported 13 projects with $10,000 grants.
All funding decisions have been guided by a collaborative process that includes representatives from multiple organizations and HOPE SF residents. One noteworthy project is All My Usos in Sunnydale which brings together volunteers to support and celebrate the Samoan community through community-based events, resources, and information.
In September 2021, All My Usos used funding from the Small Grants Program to organize a Backpack Giveaway/Health Fair which provided a safe, trusted space for families to get COVID-19 testing and gain health and wellness knowledge. The event also provided access to much-needed school supplies and personal and protective equipment.
In partnership with Coro Northern California, Enterprise was selected to administer the San Francisco Foundation’s Partnership for the Bay’s Future Breakthrough Grants. The Breakthrough Grant Program awards local governments with a mid-career fellow who will work on community-driven local policy in affordable housing production and preservation.
The partnership also provides two years of grant funding to community partners to engage and activate the local community. Enterprise will provide the fellows and local jurisdictions with housing policy and program technical assistance and issue-based coaching while Coro Northern California will bring deep expertise in leadership development.
Regional Housing Needs Allocation Methodology
In January, after over a year and a half of advocacy and technical assistance, the Bay Area adopted its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) methodology, which sets the housing production targets for every city and county in the nine-county Bay Area.
Enterprise co-led the RHNA Equity Working Group and worked closely with regional partners to ensure that this technical process reflected our goals and values as a region, including building more housing near job centers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, affirmatively furthering fair housing and anti-displacement.
For the first time ever, the RHNA methodology included an “equity adjustment,” which set a minimum floor for the number of affordable homes historically exclusionary jurisdictions must plan to build -- a concrete step towards affirmatively furthering fair housing.
Enterprise Community Loan Fund
In February, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) unanimously approved proposed changes to the Bay Area Preservation Pilot financing program to address deployment barriers and improve the feasibility of the program. Most notably, the changes allowed allocating up to $6 million of MTC’s $10 million commitment for deployment as long-term forgivable debt that can stay in a project as a permanent subsidy.
In June, Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF) provided a $6.5 million acquisition loan through the Bay Area TOAH Fund to Ali Kashani and Bay Area Community Services to acquire, rehabilitate and preserve 102 units of deeply affordable rental housing for seniors in east Oakland.
This summer, the state approved an additional $50 million allocation to the Golden State Acquisition Fund, which, when leveraged three to one with Community Development Financial Institution capital, will mean $200 million of flexible, acquisition financing available for affordable housing developers across the state.
And, as part of our Equitable Path Forward initiative, ECLF provided a $2 million line of credit to The Unity Council to advance their affordable housing and community development work in the Fruitvale and surrounding neighborhoods of east Oakland.
Enterprise invested over $350 million in 16 Northern California developments in 2021, with seven investments in the Bay Area and nine investments throughout Sacramento, the Central Valley and the Central Coast.
One noteworthy investment is Agrihood in Santa Clara with The Core Companies. Agrihood will provide 165 apartments for low-income seniors and veterans, 160 market-rate units with 10 percent reserved for people with moderate incomes, and 36 townhomes.
The development’s signature asset is a 1.7-acre farm that can grow up to 20,000 pounds of produce each year. Managed by Farmscape, an urban farming company based in Oakland, the farm will provide organic, hyper-local produce to residents at a deep discount.
Another noteworthy investment is the former Journey’s End site in Sonoma that was destroyed by the Tubbs wildfire in 2017. Sponsored by Related of California and Burbank Housing, construction of 94 homes for seniors began in November and utilized disaster credits.
Housing for Health Fund
Enterprise invested approximately $23 million of equity to preserve 106 affordable homes in Oakland and Hayward during 2021. The fund plans to invest another $4.5 million of equity in early 2022 to preserve 28 affordable homes in Cotati (Sonoma County).
The fund has another $40 million available to invest in preservation projects in 2022, thanks to investments and loans from Kaiser Permanente and JPMorgan Chase.