Five Organizations Receive Grants to Increase Climate Resiliency of Local Affordable Housing throughout the Nation

Administered by Enterprise Community Partners, grants will provide technical assistance and funding for resilience experts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oct. 11, 2017 - Enterprise Community Partners Inc. (Enterprise) has awarded grants of $10,000 each to five affordable housing development organizations to strengthen their capacity to design and develop climate resilient homes in Delray Beach, Fla.; Los Angeles; New Orleans; San Francisco; and Woonsocket, R.I.

The first of their kind through Enterprise’s new Design for Resilience program, the grants will be used to develop multi-hazard climate action plans for properties in the pre-development phase. They will also enable Enterprise to better understand and support the needs of organizations working to protect their properties and residents from extreme climate impacts. Enterprise’s Resilience Initiative focuses on preserving the nation’s vulnerable affordable housing portfolio by reducing infrastructure and operations risk resulting from extreme weather and related hazards.

“Our nation must strengthen the housing and infrastructure that serves low-income communities so they are better prepared for and able to respond to extreme weather and other emergencies,” said Laurie Schoeman, resilience program director, Enterprise Community Partners. “As we’ve seen with the recent hurricanes down South and the fires and drought out West, frequent extreme weather events are our new reality. Enterprise’s Design for Resilience grant program encourages affordable housing organizations to think about resilience early in the design process, to ensure that buildings are safer and stronger, which will save lives and money in the long term.”

Grantees will have access to technical assistance from Enterprise, funds to support a resilience expert and access to a peer network. Developers will benefit from technical support for one particular project and will be able to apply the lessons learned to future projects.

“Enterprise Community Partners’ Design for Resilience program sets an important example of the power of collaboration to strengthen and protect our communities,” said Madonna Letourneau, director, grants and administration, Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County. “The funding Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County will receive not only helps toward our goal of building and maintaining homes that are resistant to cataclysmic weather events. It also allows us to educate the families we serve about how best to protect their properties against weather related damage.”

Grantees include:

  • Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County (Delray Beach, Fla.) will address new construction and rehabilitation of existing homes for families that earn 80 percent or less of AMI, including communication prior to and following a weather event and steps for cleanup and recovery. Delray Beach is vulnerable to severe weather scenarios from fires in the Everglades, flash flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • East LA Community Corporation (Los Angeles) – ELACC, along with the Trust for Public Land, will develop a community and climate vulnerability assessment for a new affordable housing facility that will consist of 66 homes for Angelenos with incomes between 30 and 50 percent of area median income (AMI). The findings will be used to create and implement strategies to address the top three climate risk factors identified for residents.
  • SBP, Inc. (New Orleans) – SBP (formerly, St. Bernard Project) will build 32 new construction rental duplexes and four single-family homes on a site acquired by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) in the Lower Ninth Ward for residents at or below 80 percent AMI. This area is one of the most vulnerable areas in the region, and resilient innovations in housing will be critical for the region to thrive.
  • Mission Economic Development Agency (San Francisco) – Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) will explicitly incorporate climate into a proposed 143-apartment development for low- and moderate- income families in San Francisco’s Mission District, addressing the risk of flooding and fires which has increased substantially for San Francisco residents.
  • NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (Woonsocket, R.I.) will account for local weather conditions—harsh winters, hot summers and heavy precipitation—in the substantial rehabilitation of three vacant historic mills in the ‘Island Place’ National Register Historic District, transforming them into a mixed-use development of 57 affordable apartments and 30,000 square feet of commercial/office space.

The Design for Resilience program is the latest example of Enterprise’s ongoing work to increase resilience of communities nationwide. Among many other resources, Enterprise recently released an RFP through its Hurricane Community Recovery Fund for grants of up to $50,000 for nonprofit owners of multifamily affordable housing in areas hit by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and for nonprofit organizations working to provide recovery and relief services to affected homeowners and renters.