Enterprise Makes First “Equitable Path Forward” Investment with $1 Million in BIPOC-Led Aequo Fund; Raises $6 Million from Northern Trust and Siemens Foundation
$3.5 billion initiative to counter racial inequities in housing kicks off with investment in the Aequo Fund to support budding BIPOC housing providers and create affordable homes
COLUMBIA, Md. (January 14, 2021) – Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) announced today its first investment through Equitable Path Forward, a five-year, $3.5 billion nationwide initiative to help dismantle the deeply rooted legacy of racism in housing. The $1 million investment in the Aequo Fund will provide capital to early-career Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (“BIPOC”) and other historically marginalized housing providers, helping to grow their portfolios and create affordable homes at the same time. In addition, Equitable Path Forward received commitments of $5 million from Northern Trust and $1 million from Siemens Foundation, powering Enterprise’s efforts to invest in more BIPOC-led developers nationwide.
All three investments were facilitated by Enterprise Community Loan Fund, one of the country’s largest publicly rated Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI).
“Taken together, today’s announcements reflect the promise of what Equitable Path Forward can accomplish in our communities and our nation,” said Lori Chatman, president, Enterprise Community Loan Fund. “Through the Aequo Fund, Enterprise is making a catalytic investment in a BIPOC developer, who will use that capital to help jumpstart the careers and portfolios of the next generation of BIPOC developers and create more equitable impact in their communities. And with bold commitments from Northern Trust and Siemens Foundation, we can multiply the impact of our work and continue to make investments like this one that spark change and opportunity for the people and communities we serve.”
The Aequo Fund, which includes the investment from Enterprise and a group of partners, will support apprentice BIPOC and other historically marginalized housing providers who have completed real estate Master programs or learned through related industries, providing initial capital investments as they begin their real estate development work beyond the classroom. With the support of the fund, the developers will acquire and rehabilitate single-family rowhouses in Baltimore; Philadelphia; Richmond, Virginia; and Buffalo, New York, and make them available at affordable rates for families to purchase. Over three years, the fund is expected to support the acquisition, rehabilitation, and sale of as many as 50 affordable homes across the four initial cities.
“Diversity and inclusion in our cities start with who is in a position to contribute to the physical revitalizing of the places and neighborhoods we serve. Aequo Fund and our partners are committed to investing in more diversity in development, which means giving underrepresented developers their start in the form of capital, guidance and a supportive community,” said Ernst Valery, CEO, Aequo Fund. “Too often society focuses its efforts on handouts and more training and false hope for underrepresented people. Without a nurturing and supportive capital start, many of these brilliant minds will not have the opportunity to scale. Aequo Fund is intent on changing that dynamic and leveling the playing field.”
The investments from Northern Trust and Siemens Foundation reflect an increasing commitment from corporations nationwide to correct historic injustices and support BIPOC communities in wealth-building, particularly in relation to housing.
“Investing in our communities is a part of our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and aligns with our core values of service, expertise and integrity at Northern Trust,” said Darius A. Gill, National Practice executive, Northern Trust Foundation & Institutional Advisors group. “We have a long history of partnering with Enterprise and are excited to be part of this intentional approach to equitable investment.”
“The Siemens Foundation is committed to advancing economic, social, and racial justice and closing the opportunity gap for young adults in the United States,” said David Etzwiler, CEO, Siemens Foundation. “We’re honored to partner with Enterprise as they strengthen diverse development businesses and open doors for future leaders in the real estate industry.”
Enterprise is a national nonprofit on a mission to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging for all. To make that possible, we operate the only organization designed to address America’s affordable housing crisis from every angle: we develop and deploy programs and support community organizations on the ground; we advocate for policy on a nonpartisan basis at every level of government; we invest capital to build and preserve rental homes people can afford; and we own, operate and provide resident services for affordable communities. All so that people not only make rent, they build futures. With this end-to-end approach, 40 years of experience and thousands of local partners, Enterprise has built and preserved 662,000 affordable homes, invested $53 billion in communities and changed millions of lives. Join us at EnterpriseCommunity.org.
The Aequo Fund
The Aequo Fund was established to level the playing field by giving access to resources, mentorship, community, and capital to black, brown, women and immigrant developers so that they can be part of shaping our cities and neighborhoods
About Northern Trust
Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has a global presence with offices in 22 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and across 22 locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of September 30, 2020, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US$13.1 trillion, and assets under management of US$1.3 trillion. For more than 130 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Please visit our website or follow us on Twitter.
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $130 million in the United States to advance equitable workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. Its mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are narrowing the opportunity gap for young people in the United States in STEM careers and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.