Emergency Action for Resident and Partner Sustainability Program - Southern California
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on vulnerable communities across the country and within our local Southern California communities. Our nonprofit partners are directly responding to the needs of vulnerable community members — including low-income populations, seniors and the homeless. They are working with us (through surveys, virtual meetings, reports, and interviews) to share the urgent needs of their residents and the impact the pandemic is having on their own organization’s viability.
The lack of rent income due to economic crisis triggered by Covid-19, increased expenses, less revenue, and compounding construction and development-related delays are threatening the long-term viability of these essential organizations. Despite these challenges, these nonprofits have responded to this emergency in creative, heroic ways and adapted their services to meet the current and evolving needs of their residents. Doing so has been costly.
By better understanding these challenges, we can enact pertinent solutions to keep housing providers afloat.
In February, Enterprise and the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH) surveyed nonprofit affordable housing providers in Los Angeles County to assess the pandemic’s impact on organizational and housing portfolio health. Twenty-three organizations responded, representing the collective voices of 144,000 people they serve and 22,000 affordable homes they own across LA County. Here’s what they had to say.
Enterprise is being asked by dozens of our local Southern California and Statewide partners to play multiple support and recovery roles in response to Covid-19. 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 are providing 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 are implementing a racial equity framework and criteria in our deployment of grant resources and Partner Sustainability support. That is, we are targeting 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 some of 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 are also creating integrated spaces for group learning as needed to focus more specifically on provider needs related to impacts of the pandemic and economic recession on housing and community development.
- Capital and Policy Innovation and Systems Change: Engage and provide technical support to public agency and other 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.
The EARPS program is made possible through the generous support of Ballmer Group, CIT Bank, City National Bank, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, U.S. Bank, U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development, Wells Fargo.