Funders for Housing and Opportunity (FHO) is a cross-sector, non-partisan, national funder collaborative with a shared vision: That all renters, regardless of income, can afford safe, stable housing in communities that support better health, economic mobility, and educational achievement.
Over 12 million households in America – one out of every four renter households – spend more than half of their income on rent or do not have a home at all. Over 9.6 million of those households have an annual income of less than $15,000, and people of color are disproportionately impacted. The private market alone has not produced enough housing that people with the lowest incomes can afford. In its place, local, state, and regional solutions are emerging that hold promise for adaptation and replication.
FHO believes that a stable home is so much more than a commodity. Housing is a platform for achieving better life outcomes and thriving communities for all of us. Safe, stable housing means:
children do better in school
seniors are healthier longer and more socially connected
parents and children experience better mental health
workers are more productive
trips to emergency rooms are reduced
families have more disposable income to strengthen their financial security and boost local economies.
FHO is working to ensure that the provision of housing is an essential part of our nation’s efforts to improve the life outcomes of the most vulnerable American families.
Strategy and Funding Priorities
Members of the Funders for Housing and Opportunity collaborative share the common belief that housing stability is a cross-sector issue, that housing security creates pathways to opportunities, and that the scale of the problem cannot be addressed in isolation. The collaborative seeks to catalyze a movement that fundamentally changes the way we think about, talk about and provide housing in our country.
To this end, Funders for Housing and Opportunity is making investments that will spark large-scale change in three complementary, interdependent priorities in order to:
- Advance efforts that will result in more people being able to afford safe and stable housing. This is accomplished by supporting policy change at the local, state, and Federal levels through national and state level advocacy work and local resident engagement.
- Raise awareness about housing as a shared public concern through efforts that pose alternatives to commonly held but misleading beliefs about why housing matters and its connection to opportunity.
- Highlight solutions and amplify what works by funding proven and replicable local- and state-level initiatives that expand cross-sector solutions.
By coordinating strategies, Funders for Housing and Opportunity will catalyze large-scale, sustainable, long-term change.
Theory of Change
Funders for Housing and Opportunity (FHO) is a cross-sector, non-partisan, nationwide funder collaborative committed to bettering life outcomes for the 12 million households who are most precariously housed or are experiencing homelessness. The foundation members – many of which do not state housing as a primary funding priority but are working on issues such as education, health care, and civil society – have come together because they all understand the importance of housing stability as a necessary and fundamental first step toward achieving the outcomes their foundations seek to advance. The collaborative seeks to ensure that housing security is an essential part of our nation’s efforts to improve family health, educational achievement, and economic mobility and thereby create stable pathways to opportunity.
Too often, our government policies at the local, state, and federal level have systematically discriminated against entire classes of people, leaving segregated communities that provide unequal access to opportunity and economic mobility.
Government policy can and should repair and correct these divisions so that all people, regardless of race or income, can afford safe, stable housing in communities with access to amenities supporting better health, educational excellence, and economic mobility.
FHO believes that good government policy reflects the American ideals of democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality. Government policies that adhere to these ideals recognize that all people have inherent dignity and have the potential to contribute to society in meaningful ways. To this end, FHO supports housing policies that:
- Affirmatively protect a person’s right to be free from discrimination in their housing
- Provide a means for people to access safe, affordable housing that provides the stability required to live fulfilling lives
- Align systems so that people are able to make choices about where they live regardless of the color of their skin or how much money they earn
- Target assistance to those most in need – those who have been historically locked out of opportunity, are severely cost-burdened, or are experiencing homelessness
- Honor and incorporate the perspectives of the people and communities most impacted into the design and creation of the polices that effect their lives.