MIAMI (April 21, 2022) – Together with local leaders and the Collective Empowerment Group of South Florida, a consortium of local churches, Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) today announced the expansion of its nationally recognized Faith-Based Development InitiativeSM into South Florida, where it will work with faith leaders to convert underutilized land into affordable homes. The program, which is supported by $1.3 million in grant funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation, was launched at a “clarion call” hosted at the Koinonia Worship Center at which local houses of worship were invited to join the effort to solve pressing housing affordability challenges in their communities.

Land costs are soaring, and land acquisition is a major barrier to housing production. Faith-based organizations collectively own tens of thousands of acres of underutilized and vacant land across the U.S. One study found that houses of worship in Miami-Dade County alone own 700 vacant or underutilized lots totaling 13 million square feet of space.

“Since 2006 Enterprise has partnered with houses of worship to prove the concept that faith-based development of affordable housing and community facilities can have a positive impact in communities,” said Rev. David Bowers, vice president and senior advisor of Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development InitiativeSM. “We are honored to bring this work with clergy and lay faith leaders to South Florida and excited that communities of faith have embraced the potential of working together.”

Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development InitiativeSM 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 new $1.3 million South Florida program is part of a nationwide expansion of this successful model, supported by $8.5 million in grant funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

With the training and resources provided by Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development InitiativeSM, faith-based organizations will acquire the knowledge necessary to turn land they already own into desperately needed affordable homes.

Faith-based organizations participating in the program will gain access to:

  • Funding: Support for market/feasibility studies and pre-development activities
  • Training: Virtual and in-person trainings to help participants understand the ins and outs of the development process
  • Technical assistance and tools: One-on-one technical assistance to help overcome obstacles during the development process, as well as access to informational tools and resources
  • Access to experts: Referrals to vetted development partners, such as architects and designers, real estate lawyers and development consultants
  • Peer-to-peer learning: Geographic cohorts of faith-based organizations will network and learn from one another as they go through the process of housing development, and a national summit will bring faith leaders from across the country together to advance program learnings and celebrate successes

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 the Collective Empowerment Group of South Florida

The Collective Empowerment Group of South Florida a consortium of faith houses, represented by our pastoral and Spiritual leaders. We are engaged in a broad range of Human, Economic and Community Empowerment Programs, pursuing social and economic justice for all in our community.  It’s not about ‘just us’ but “Justice” social and economic “Justice” for all.  We are working together building attainable housing, Youth and Technological Leadership, creating food co-ops anchored by faith based “Community Gardens” and a host of other “green community“ services. Our “Big Tent” reflects the diversity of all God’s children, daily we are found working in our respective faith, business, and public sectors. We are all each other’s keepers.

Media Contact

Jordan Miller, Group Gordon