NEW YORK (Dec. 6, 2022) – Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) announced it has received nearly $3 million in grants from the Wells Fargo Foundation and Trinity Church Wall Street (Trinity) to help faith-based organizations in New York City transform underutilized property into affordable homes. This expansion of Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development Initiative (FBDI), which includes $1.5 million in grant funding from Wells Fargo and a $1.4 million grant from Trinity, will support up to 15 local faith-based organizations (FBOs) to create over 1,000 affordable homes in the New York City area over the next five years.
New York City is part of a nationwide expansion of Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development Initiative, supported by an $8.5 million donation from Wells Fargo announced earlier this year. Acquiring land presents a major barrier to affordable housing production. Meanwhile, in New York City and across the U.S., faith-based organizations own thousands of acres of unused or underutilized land, yet typically lack the experience necessary to transform property into affordable housing. These generous grants will enable Enterprise to provide deep and customized support to local FBOs in the development of property into affordable homes.
“It is humbling and inspiring to see so many faith-based organizations, who have historically served their communities in a variety of meaningful ways, looking to transform their underused land into critical affordable housing for New York City residents,” said Baaba Halm, vice president and New York market leader of Enterprise. “We are immensely grateful to the Wells Fargo Foundation and Trinity Church Wall Street, whose generous funding will help us engage with numerous local faith-based organizations as they create much-needed affordable homes for New Yorkers and provide invaluable community leadership.”
“It’s been a privilege to support the nationwide expansion of Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development Initiative, and we’re looking forward to working with the faith community in New York City to help meet critical housing needs across the five boroughs,” said Otis Rolley, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation and head of Philanthropy and Community Impact. “As community anchors, houses of worship are at the center of so many lives, and this effort will give them the resources and tools to make an even bigger difference in their communities by creating quality and affordable places for families to live.”
“We are excited to expand Trinity’s partnership with Enterprise by supporting this crucial initiative that recognizes the agency of faith-based organizations in transforming their neighborhoods. These projects will have a vital social impact in activating underutilized land for affordable housing throughout New York City and will help build sustainable financial capacity for such faith-based organizations,” said the Rev. James Clark III, managing director of Mission Real Estate Development at Trinity.
There are over 5,000 properties owned by FBOs in the New York City region, with many of these organizations serving as longstanding pillars in their communities. In addition to offering sanctuary space, many FBOs provide broader services including daycare, food pantries, youth programming, and other offerings for local residents. In recent years, many FBOs have experienced compounding challenges, such as repairs needed for aging buildings, higher operating and maintenance costs, and constrained cash flows, all of which can jeopardize their future and threaten to uproot these institutions from their neighborhoods. At the same time, New York City has a severe shortage of affordable homes, with consistently high development costs and lack of available vacant land impeding housing development. Recognizing this need, many FBOs want to explore solutions to help create affordable housing while also preserving their legacy within the community.
Over the next 18 months, Enterprise’s FBDI aims to engage with 15 FBOs in the New York City area, to which the organization will provide technical development assistance and other support. Over the next five years, the FBDI will award grants and capital to participating FBOs, which will support their predevelopment needs by helping them make informed decisions, negotiating partnerships with developers, and equipping them for the development stage of construction. Enterprise will also provide FBOs with training led by Enterprise staff and local consultants; no-cost feasibility studies; technical assistance and resources to address project-specific challenges; connections to expert development partners; and peer-learning sessions for sharing reflections on best practices, challenges, and solutions.
Importantly, Enterprise is prioritizing engaging with FBOs with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) leadership, since BIPOC-led FBOs have historically had less access to financial resources and institutional knowledge to support their growth. As a result, FBDI aims to increase the local affordable housing supply while simultaneously addressing racial disparities that affect the housing developing industry.
Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development Initiative launched in 2006 in the Mid-Atlantic region, where it has helped faith-based organizations to create or preserve more than 1,500 affordable homes and one community-based health clinic, with more than a thousand additional affordable homes in the development pipeline. The work has led to the creation of a successful model and generated interest from faith-based organizations and cities to partner on a proven program. Wells Fargo has been a key partner in the national expansion of FBDI, paving the way for collaboration with houses of worship in Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, South Florida and New York City to create roughly 6,000 affordable homes.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. We support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities ourselves. Since 1982, we have invested $54 billion and created 873,000 homes across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging.
About Trinity Church Wall Street
Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish of more than 1,200 members. For more than three centuries, Trinity has been a part of the fabric of New York City-weaving together a vibrant and diverse parish of people of all backgrounds from the five boroughs and surrounding area. The parish is guided by its core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. These principles are the reason Trinity champions justice and equity through public advocacy, neighborhood outreach, and financial resources. More than 20 worship services are offered every week online and at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission, and online, trinitywallstreet.org.