Emergency Action for Resident and Partner Sustainability Program - Southern California
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is having an immediate and adverse effect on vulnerable communities across the country and within our local Southern California communities. Our nonprofit partners working directly with vulnerable community members — including low-income populations, seniors and the homeless — have alerted us to the urgent needs of their residents and the impact the pandemic is having on their own organization’s viability.
We have convened (through virtual meetings) or interviewed dozens of non-profit or public agency partners experiencing capacity issues on staffing, services to residents, lack of rent income due to economic crisis triggered by Covid-19, increased expenses, comprised ability to meet financial obligations, solvency threatened, cashflow risk, deal delays, financial resources, and communications. We are documenting themes of instability in both large and small affordable housing operators and compounding delayed services from public agency partners.
In response, we have launched a national initiative (with an independent and local Southern California programmatic version) called the Enterprise Emergency Action for Resident & Partner Stability (EARPS) program. Our objectives, informed by the critical feedback received from partners, are the following: 1) Provide and support the deployment of financial resources to meet the immediate, critical needs of low-income residents and their local affordable housing providers; and 2) Provide expertise, tools and training to support the long-term viability and sustainability of these community partners as they, and their communities, recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We will provide tailored technical assistance and organizational capacity building to support the long-term viability and sustainability of affordable housing community development corporations as they, and their communities, recover from the devastating effects of Covid-19. We will implement a racial equity framework and criteria in our deployment of grant resources and Partner Sustainability support. That is, we will target increased support to organizations led by and/or primarily serving communities or individuals of color as we know these organizations and the individuals they serve are and will be the hardest-hit by both the pandemic and the catastrophic economic effects that have begun and will continue to ensue. Formal grant applications to the EARPS program are by invitation only.
Planned activities include the following:
- Provide technical assistance, resources and capacity building to nonprofit affordable housing developers on areas such as: financial assessments, ongoing coaching, emergency continuity plans, financial modeling and other organizational needs.
- Host Peer Exchanges and Housing + Community Development Leadership Roundtable: We will maintain and expand as appropriate our peer exchanges (Neighborhood Exchange, Permanent Supportive Housing, Resident Services Roundtable, and Small Multifamily Preservation) for our affordable housing developer partners as forums to lift up pain points, share best practices, and create policy recommendations in real time. We will also create an integrated space for group learning across our peer exchanges, a Community Development Leadership Roundtable, to focus more specifically on executive and macro-level topics influencing housing and community development, such as sustaining operations, workforce training and sustainability, forecasting risk, modeling revenue and expense projections, sustaining service delivery, and ensuring residential stability.
- Capital and Policy Innovation and Systems Change: Engage and provide technical support to public agency partners, LIHTC investors, and private banking partners to respond swiftly and meaningfully to community and non-profit partner needs. Interventions will be focused on addressing the needs of affordable housing partners and the housing and economic insecurity needs of low-income vulnerable residents that have been exacerbated by Covid-19
- Evaluate above outlined activities to compile best practices and create technical, financial and public policy tools and resources for broader distribution to hundreds of California developers and more broadly across the country, with case studies and examples of implementation.
From combating chronic homelessness, to helping low-income families build assets, to providing quality housing linked to supportive services, Enterprise’s program supports a vision of greater stability, well-being and racial equity.