Enterprise Receives $1 Million Grant from Wells Fargo Foundation and Support from DC Government for Faith-Based Development Initiative 

The initiative works with houses of worship to develop underutilized land into affordable homes and community facilities for low- and moderate-income families and individuals

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 18, 2020) – The Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded the national affordable housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) a $1 million grant to support the organization’s Faith-Based Development Initiative (FBDI) in Washington, D.C. The FBDI’s goal is to create new affordable homes and community facilities for low-to moderate income families by working with houses of worship to leverage their underutilized land.  The grant from Wells Fargo will leverage nearly $800,000 in reprogrammed capital from the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  

The Wells Fargo Foundation’s grant is part of its $1 billion philanthropic commitment to create more housing affordability solutions by 2025 by investing in strategies to advance housing stability, increasing supply of affordable homes, expanding homeownership opportunities for people of color, and driving transformation and innovation in local communities. 

Started in 2006, Enterprise’s FBDI has provided training and technical assistance to hundreds of houses of worship and faith-based organizations in the region. Enterprise has directly invested more than $155 million in grants, loans and equity supporting FBDI developments. To date FBDI participants have created more than 1,500 units of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households, and one community-based health center. Another 1,000 homes are in the development pipeline.   

With the generous support of Wells Fargo and DHCD, Enterprise will convene one specific Washington, D.C.-based cohort of 17 houses of worship over a three-year period. The cohort members will be supported by Enterprise’s proven approach of organizational assessment, development training, technical assistance, and connection to developers, real estate lawyers and other development professionals.  

In addition, cohort participants will receive early predevelopment grants to assist with early stage project work. The goal is to support the development of 1,500 new units of affordable housing in the District. This positions FBDI faith community participants as partners in meeting more than 10 percent of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s goal of 12,000 new affordable units by 2025.  Enterprise will begin the program with a clarion call of Washington, D.C.-based faith organizations in early 2021 and selecting participants by April. 

“Whatever Washingtonians need, our local faith-based organizations are often the first partners to step up and ask how they can help. We asked the community to help us build 36,000 new homes by 2025, including at least 12,000 affordable homes, and it is no surprise that faith-based partners are eager to answer the call,” said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We are proud and grateful to be part of this effort. Through partnerships like these, we can prove what is possible when communities find the resources, funds, and political will to build creative solutions to long-standing challenges.”

“The importance of our work to produce and preserve affordable housing and meet Mayor Bowser’s citywide goal to build 36,000 new homes, including 12,000 affordable units, by 2025, has not wavered during the pandemic,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “When we asked our community for help, Wells Fargo and Enterprise Community Partners stood up and I thank them for partnering with us to ensure that more residents have a fair shot at a pathway to the middle class.” 

“Our longtime partnership with Enterprise Community Partners stems from listening to the needs of our community,” said Anna Bard, Wells Fargo Community Relations Manager. “Through Wells Fargo’s Where We Live philanthropic investment program, we’re gifted with the opportunity to work with local organizations in Washington, D.C. neighborhoods to improve lives, strengthen communities and increase economic opportunity. I am incredibly grateful for our partnership with Enterprise Community Partners and I’m deeply encouraged by the lives I’ve seen impacted through their FDBI program.” 

“We are grateful to Wells Fargo for this catalytic grant from their Where We Live initiative,” said David Bowers, VP and Mid-Atlantic market leader, Enterprise. “Building on nearly 15 years of experience of intentional collaboration and extensive technical and financial support of faith-based partners – this new D.C. focused cohort represents the opportunity to assist a municipality in reaching its affordable housing goals working with key neighborhood anchor institutions. This creative public/private partnership helps to shape a model for jurisdictions, private institutions and houses of worship to intentionally work together at a level of scale to meet the compelling need to increase the supply of quality affordable homes in communities across the region and nationally.” 

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