Cities are growing. New downtown housing is going up. Older neighborhoods are seeing renewed investment. City services are improving. But this growth and investment is often inequitable, benefitting some while passing others by. Rising prices and changing demographics threaten to make some neighborhoods inaccessible and inhospitable to those who have long lived there.
Many city leaders recognize the need to reshape the way growth unfolds in their communities, but they often lack the policy tools, strategies and civic consensus needed to build more equitable and inclusive communities. ForEveryoneHome can help these communities build a set of lasting interventions at a time when they can have the greatest impact.
With a 2-to-1 funding match from the Ford Foundation (details below), this program is an opportunity for communities to stretch their limited budgets to have a lasting impact on a far-reaching set of policy issues. The core components of this initiative include:
Our team, in partnership with industry leaders and seasoned practitioners from around the country, will help the selected cities develop an inclusive housing agenda that promotes lasting affordability. Over the course of the program, we will focus on three key deliverables for each participating city:
- Needs assessment - We will identify current and emerging housing challenges, as well as causes and consequences. (Cities with recently completed housing needs assessments will conceive an alternative deliverable.)
- Displacement prevention agenda - We will develop policy strategies to address the challenges identified in the needs assessment.
- Implementable policy - We will take a high-priority strategy from the displacement prevention agenda and create a detailed plan for immediate action.
Representatives from each selected community will participate in two learning tours to understand their peer communities’ strategies for achieving more inclusive growth. These learning tours will be led by experienced practitioners who understand the practical challenges of making these strategies work. Community representatives will also meet regularly as a cohort throughout the 18-month program to share experiences, strategize together, and gain support and insight from their peers.
We believe the low-income communities of color who are most likely to benefit from an inclusive growth and anti-displacement strategy must be involved in shaping it. Participating teams from each city must include community partners that are trusted and informed voices on housing issues facing low-income communities of color in their cities. These partners will serve as full participants in the initiative, adding their insights, experiences and community priorities to the policy discussions, and amplifying community outreach efforts. We will help participants develop community engagement strategies to ensure broader input into the needs assessment, agenda-setting and policy development phases of the initiative.
Racial Equity Lens
We will challenge ourselves and participants to bring a racial equity lens to our work. This means approaching our work with the acknowledgment that housing is not, and never has been, a race-neutral endeavor in the United States. We will ask each city to tell its housing story, focusing in particular on the legacy of individual and institutional racial bias that has shaped who lives where and the people who have benefited and suffered due to past practices. The goal is to elevate an often neglected local history and to recognize its importance in the development of inclusive housing policies aimed at dismantling the legacy of disadvantage this history has yielded. ForEveryoneHome participants from each community will work collectively to ensure that this history informs any new policies the city pursues.
Foundation-Funded, With a Community Match
With underwriting from the Ford Foundation, Grounded Solutions Network will provide $150,000 worth of support for each participating city. We also request that each participating city contribute $75,000 toward the initiative. This community contribution may come from municipal revenues, grant dollars or outside sources. We recognize that this community match is a significant ask. However, with the Ford Foundation’s support, your $75,000 investment will stretch three times as far.
We want to work with cities where there is a shared social and political commitment to creating more inclusive neighborhoods for all. We encourage all communities that align with the goals of the ForEveryoneHome initiative to apply, even cities that have not yet identified funding sources for the requested $75,000 community match. Ground Solutions Network will work with selected communities to raise additional funds to round-out community contributions as necessary.