Building off the success of the first Faith-Based Development Initiative (FBDI) cohort in the Pacific Northwest last year, Enterprise is thrilled to continue our engagement with faith communities who want to use their land for affordable housing. On February 1, 2024, the Enterprise Pacific Northwest team welcomed eight new cohort members to our FBDI family:

  • All Pilgrims Christian Church, Seattle
  • Mason United Methodist Church, Tacoma
  • Bethlehem Baptist, Tacoma
  • Saint Andrew's Lutheran, Bellevue
  • Saint Mark's Episcopal, Seattle
  • Highline United Methodist Church, Burien
  • Bethany Lutheran, Bainbridge Island
  • Ebenezer Zion AME, Seattle

This cohort features faith organizations who are action-ready and who have already been engaged in housing work. Their projects are at pivotal stages of predevelopment and need grant support and technical assistance to move them forward. Ranging from Tacoma to Bellevue and Seattle to Bainbridge, this cohort covers a wide geographic range and includes rental and homeownership projects. 

Two people sit at a desk reviewing documents and working together

Over two foundational training sessions this month, our partners engaged in the nuts and bolts of affordable housing development and finance. The remaining six sessions will highlight the roles and responsibilities for the development team, design and green building, partnership models, asset management, and funding. The training series and technical assistance program are designed to meet faith partners where they are, walk with them along their development journey, and give them the tools to be comfortably conversant in affordable housing development. 

Meet our Trainer: Michelle Morlan of Lotus Development Partners

Michelle has been actively engaged in the direct development of affordable housing and community facility projects for over 35 years. As Principal of Lotus Development Partners LLC, a mission-driven development consulting firm, Michelle oversees the work of Lotus team members and provides project management, finance strategy, and development services for nonprofit housing owners, primary and behavioral health providers, and for-profit developers interested in affordable housing inclusion. Michelle joins our team for three foundational training sessions, bringing more than 20 years of experience as a national trainer in affordable housing finance and development. 

From our first cohort, several projects are steadily progressing. Greater Christ Temple Church, in partnership with Beacon and HumanGood, are continuing to develop the design of their 66-unit senior housing development in Tacoma, with the goal of applying for funding again this year. In a tight financing environment, our partners may have been deferred a year, but they are not deterred. 

Enterprise and our faith partners are grateful for the grant support from the Wells Fargo Foundation to continue and evolve this important work. Our second cohort in the Pacific Northwest is part of a nationwide expansion of Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development Initiative, supported by an $8.5 million donation from Wells Fargo.

With the training and resources provided by Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development Initiative, faith-based organizations will acquire the knowledge necessary to turn land they already own into desperately needed affordable homes.

Faith-based organizations participating in the program will gain access to:

  • Funding: Support for market/feasibility studies and pre-development activities
  • Training: Virtual and in-person trainings to help participants understand the ins and outs of the development process
  • Technical assistance and tools: One-on-one technical assistance to help overcome obstacles during the development process, as well as access to informational tools and resources
  • Access to experts: Information on development professionals including development companies, architects and designers, real estate lawyers and development consultants
  • Peer-to-peer learning: Geographic cohorts of faith-based organizations will network and learn from one another as they go through the process of housing development, and a national summit will bring faith leaders from across the country together to advance program learnings and celebrate successes