Cities and States

With the sharp increase in inequality in America, low- and moderate-income people have not only lost ground economically—they have also lost ground literally, in the places they call home. As many regions revitalize and cities increasingly power the next economy, communities are left grappling with a housing affordability crisis that has been decades in the making. It is a crisis that could undermine the fragile comeback that many cities have sought for decades. And it is a quiet crisis, one that not only reflects inequality but plays a big part in reproducing it—compromising the health, education, and opportunities of millions of people struggling for good, safe, affordable places to live.

Stable and affordable housing is a linchpin of inclusive economic growth—it’s key to making a rapidly changing economy work for everyone. Yet about half of American renters face unaffordable costs, with millions spending most of their monthly income on rent. Every year, millions also face eviction or cycle from one unstable, insecure home to another. As low-cost rental homes are replaced with luxury housing, hard-working people are “priced out” of the homes that gave earlier generations of Americans a ladder to the middle class. Federal support for affordable rental housing has declined dramatically, while the still-generous federal mortgage interest deduction mostly benefits upper-income Americans and investors. To make matters worse, persistent segregation fuels stark racial disparities in access to safe neighborhoods, schools, jobs, and services.

To be able to access opportunity and build a better life, everyone needs secure, affordable, quality housing. Our work aims to address the serious and chronic challenges facing renters in America. We focus on protecting what’s currently affordable and significantly expanding the supply of permanently affordable homes—especially rental housing that low- and moderate-income workers and families can afford. It’s also critical for families to live in stable communities that have quality opportunities, with decent jobs and schools nearby.

What we don’t fund

We know nonprofit staff’s time is valuable, so we discourage using it to submit proposals that don’t fall within funding guidelines. In this spirit, we aim to be transparent about what our grant making does not support.

We do not make grants to support individual housing developments, homeownership programs, broad community revitalization programs, economic development, infrastructure and public space, or urban design and innovation efforts that are unrelated to rental housing affordability.

Grants Officer, Cities and States
New York, USA
Program Officer, Cities and States
New York, USA
Senior Program Officer, Cities and States
New York, USA
Director, Cities and States
New York, USA
Program Associate, Cities and States
New York, USA
Program Officer, Cities and States
New York, USA
Grants Manager, Cities and States
New York, USA

Anticipated four-year outcomes

A robust movement

A stronger affordable housing movement emerges, anchored by effective advocates and networks, fueled by constituencies—especially those feeling the burden of high housing costs—and bolstered by connections between grassroots groups, decision-makers, and other stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels.

Essential tools

Effective tools to advance affordable housing and prevent displacement—for tenant protection, land policy reform, real estate value capture, and more—are deployed and used broadly.

Land and capital

There are new ways to efficiently generate public and private capital and allocate land resources, for preservation and new production of permanently affordable homes in inclusive communities.

New narratives

This quiet crisis becomes a loud one, amplified by new narratives that emphasize housing affordability as a fundamental good, as well as the housing sector’s role in providing stable homes that let people succeed.

An innovative, effective agenda

A bold, revamped agenda for policy reform redistributes the division of responsibility among federal, state, and local governments and private institutions, commensurate with the scale and stakes of the rental housing crisis.

Donors to transform the field

A bigger, broader, and better-aligned landscape of donors goes beyond plugging gaps and playing defense, and truly transforms the field.