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.