Enterprise Community Partners Announces $3.5 Billion “Equitable Path Forward” Initiative to Counter Racial Inequities Rooted in Housing
Netflix commits initial $25 million to seed initiative
COLUMBIA, Md and LOS GATOS, Ca. (December 14, 2020) – Enterprise Community Partners (“Enterprise”) and Netflix, Inc. today announced Netflix’s $25 million commitment in Equitable Path Forward, Enterprise’s 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 Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (“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 support; and creating new career pathways to diversify leadership in real estate.
“Our vision is nothing short of dismantling the legacy of racism in housing,” said Priscilla Almodovar, president and chief executive officer, Enterprise Community Partners. “By investing in these housing providers who are on the ground and engaged with their communities, Equitable Path Forward will lead to a new and needed level of responsiveness, investment and equity in the communities that get built.”
The challenge is urgent. 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, to home ownership rates for white Americans that are nearly twice as high than for Black Americans, to a widening wealth gap with the median net worth of a white household nearly eight times that of a Black household, to the real estate industry itself where only 2% of development companies are Black-led, and 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.
Equitable Path Forward aims to close the gap through a $3.5 billion effort to support BIPOC and other historically marginalized housing providers who create and preserve affordable homes in diverse communities, inclusive of 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;
- $15 million program for cultivation of local development organizations and small businesses; and,
- $10 million leadership program.
“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. “We invite more companies to join the movement and support visionary initiatives like Equitable Path Forward.”
“Together with our partners, we will close the racial disparities in the housing industry that perpetuate the racial disparities in our communities,” said Almodovar. “To do so, we need to rebalance both power and profit in our industry. Enterprise will leverage $10 million of our own capital, expertise and unique end-to-end platform to do our part. A big thanks to Netflix for their support and leadership on this issue.”
Equitable Path Forward’s multipronged approach includes three main pillars:
Equitable Path Forward Growth Fund
A $350 million Growth Fund that will attract an additional $3.1 billion of debt, equity and grants to provide BIPOC-led and other historically marginalized housing providers both entity-level and project-level capital to grow their businesses and pipelines of affordable homes. Enterprise has seeded this fund with $10 million of its own capital.
To maximize the leverage of this capital, Enterprise will incorporate a Standby Guaranty Facility – initially backed by Enterprise’s balance sheet as it seeks additional investors – for housing providers to compete for institutional capital on a level playing field. This will enable larger, lower-cost and longer-term investments in affordable homes developed and preserved by providers who have historically lacked the balance sheet required to attract this capital in the first place or, if able to attract capital only do so at costly terms that dilute the ability to scale their pipeline and build wealth.
Equitable Path Forward Developer Advisory Services
A $15 million program to deliver comprehensive consulting, networking facilitation, business services and evaluation support to help organizations and businesses working in communities across Enterprise’s nationwide footprint expand their capacity and be better prepared to deploy and leverage capital to preserve and create affordable homes.
Equitable Path Forward Leadership Program
A $10 million, two-year rotational program in real estate – modeled after the distinguished programs at major industrial and financial firms – for future BIPOC and other historically marginalized leaders.
Equitable Path Forward capital and expertise will be deployed nationally, with a focus in the following cities and regions across the United States: Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, New York, Northern California, Ohio, Pacific Northwest, Southeast and Southern California.
Equitable Path Forward is spearheaded by BIPOC leaders of Enterprise – including its President and Chief Executive Officer, Priscilla Almodovar; Lori Chatman, president of Enterprise’s CDFI, Enterprise Community Loan Fund; and, Jacqueline Waggoner, president of Enterprise’s Solutions division. It is a key initiative of Enterprise’s new, five-year Strategic Plan to increase housing supply, advance racial equity, and build resilience and upward mobility for all.