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Our Work

 

No matter where we are from or where we live, having a safe, stable place to call home is the foundation of our well-being and health.

No matter where we are from or where we live, having a safe, stable place to call home is the foundation of our well-being and health.

FHO believes that housing is a platform for achieving better life outcomes and thriving communities for all of us.  Investing in safe, stable, affordable places to call home has ripple effects throughout all parts of a community by:  

 

Creating Healthier Communities 

Strengthening Our Schools

  • When children have stable housing, academic performance and graduation rates increase and parents are more able to participate in their children’s school experience.

  • Affordable housing increases community college enrollments and helps recruit capable, committed teachers.

 

Building Economic Mobility 

  • Having an affordable, stable home increases financial security, builds generational wealth, and provides a cushion to weather economic disruptions in health or employment.

  • Living near transit and job centers reduces the cost of commuting, increases career prospects, and helps employers attract and retain workers.

 

Achieving Environmental Justice and Sustainability 

  • A home that is built to improve the environment improves the lives of those living inside it. 

  • The climate crisis and structural inequities in housing and transportation share the same origins. Neighborhoods that historically suffered redlining face a far higher risk of flooding and other environmental challenges.

THE OPPORTUNITY OF THIS MOMENT 

 

America’s housing system was built on a long legacy of inequality and racism.  For decades, our housing policies meant only some families could rent or own homes in thriving neighborhoods without fear of displacement, where they could access quality education and healthcare and pass wealth to the next generation. While millions of others have been relegated to unstable and often unsafe housing— with few pathways for advancement or protection in times of crisis. 

Today, COVID-19 and the ensuing economic recession threaten to exacerbate the already deep racial wealth gap that engulfs many communities across our nation, hindering our nation’s ability to fully live up to the promise of our values. 

Our nation deserves better. Today, we have the chance to reimagine a system that is inherently unjust and work to build one that underscores the values of equity, inclusion, and shared prosperity. Study after study shows that Americans agree - we all deserve a safe home.

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STRATEGY AND FUNDING PRIORITIES

 
 

Members of Funders for Housing and Opportunity understand that housing is a cross-sector issue, that housing security creates pathways to opportunities, and that the scale of the affordable housing and displacement crisis cannot be addressed in isolation. The collaborative seeks to invest in the power and capacity of organizations working to bring about housing justice. 

 

As a funder collaborative, FHO centers racial justice in every aspect of our work and supports the leadership of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). We support efforts to build power for BIPOC communities whose housing costs are unsustainable to have a say in the cross-sector systems that impact their lives and to advance anti-racist housing policies that move toward alignment at the grassroots/local, state and national levels. We seek out partners who understand the value of a safe and affordable home as a basic necessity for everyone in our country.  We work with those partners to elevate housing justice as a critical priority.

 

To this end, Funders for Housing and Opportunity is making transformative investments across three complementary, interdependent priorities:

  1. Policy, Advocacy, and Organizing: Advancing policy, organizing, and advocacy efforts that strengthen and improve policies, protections, and investments in quality, equitable, affordable housing for lower-income people, for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color whose rental housing costs are unsustainable, and for people experiencing homelessness.

  2. Narrative Change: Shifting the narrative so that more people understand why housing is a basic necessity for everyone, is more than a commodity, and is connected to all other areas of opportunity (like health, education, transportation, the environment, civil rights, and resilience).

  3. Elevating What Works: Highlighting cross-sector solutions and amplifying what works by funding community-driven local- and state-level initiatives that ensure housing affordability and redress racial inequities in housing.

 

The coordination of these priorities allows FHO to pursue systems change at scale and contribute to better housing options and improved opportunities for millions of Americans in our nation today.

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Funded Projects

 

FHO has awarded over $14 million to organizations working to advance policy, change the narrative, and elevate housing solutions that moves our nation toward housing justice. We seek to build the capacity of advocates, organizers and practitioners, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color, to advance equitable and anti-racist housing solutions. Grants are issued through invitation or a formal RFP processes.

 

Past and current grantees include:

Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (Mobility Works)

To help develop and evaluate new housing mobility programs in localities, build a shared knowledge-base and create a housing mobility counseling and training platform for public housing agencies and providers of housing and community development services

Grant Year(s) 

2021, 2022, 2023

Total Grant Amount(s)

$300,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

National

Community Change, Race Forward and Policy Link

To engage in a housing justice policy shift in several cities while engendering broad adoption and use of racial equity housing narrative and cultural strategies

Grant Year(s) 

2021, 2022

Total Grant Amount(s)

$1,000,000

FHO Priority

Narrative Change

Location

National

Chelsea Anti-Displacement Roundtable

To respond to housing stabilization challenges by pursuing multifaceted strategy including access to rental assistance, affordable housing preservation and production, and increasing opportunities for participation in local decision-making around housing equity concerns.

Grant Year(s) 

2021, 2022

Total Grant Amount(s)

$330,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

Chelsea, MA

Community Justice Project, Miami Workers Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Florida Rising

To mobilize BIPOC women to confront the eviction crisis; to ensure communities know their rights and have access to available resources through “know your rights” trainings, self-help materials, and referrals for legal advice and assistance

Grant Year(s) 

2021, 2022

Total Grant Amount(s)

$330,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

Miami-Dade County and Florida

KC Tenants and partners

To support a tenant hotline, community outreach efforts, and targeted actions in collaboration with local allies, media and art strategies, while expanding a database of eviction filings, hearings and judgements to analyze data and develop strategies to meet the needs of communities most impacted

Grant Year(s) 

2021, 2022

Total Grant Amount(s)

$330,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

Kansas City, MO

Piedmont Housing Alliance and partners

To establish a Financial Opportunity Center with Housing Hub that will provide a holistic range of financial stability, housing navigation and eviction prevention support services prioritizing residents hardest hit by the COVID crisis and generational racial inequity

Grant Year(s) 

2021, 2022

Total Grant Amount(s)

$330,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

Charlottesville, VA

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

To add a racial equity lens to guidance HUD is providing to homelessness TA providers and to create a framework to help practitioners understand what relief funds are available from federal agencies for homelessness and housing, what strategies work, and how to work with jurisdictions to implement race-conscious processes.

Grant Year(s) 

2020, 2021, 2022

Total Grant Amount(s)

$450,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

National

A Way Home America

To provide increased coaching and access to faculty for the Grand Challenge Communities (Hennepin County, MN; Richmond, VA; San Francisco, San Diego, and Miami) that are working to implement system accountability plans in light of COVID-19 to center youth with lived experience who are people of color and LGBTQI+

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$150,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Multi-Regional

PolicyLink

To a develop set of a tools and protocols grounded in racial equity analysis to support and advance effective local COVID-19 housing relief and recovery strategies for policymakers using federal resources at the state and local level and for equity-focused allies and advocates.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$300,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

National

Alliance for Housing Justice

To fund two additional local grassroots formations as they respond to the local/regional COVID emergency and plan for a coordinated response and will support legal/organizing rapid response work and mid/long term post-crisis planning (e.g., executive orders, opinion memos, model ordinances)

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$180,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Sacramento, CA

Arch City Defenders

To directly represent people and provide wrap-around social services, including efforts to get and keep people housed; and to partner with/provide legal analysis for organizers and activists that are working on housing issues

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

St. Louis, MO

SE Louisiana Legal Service

To provide legal advice on eviction and landlord/tenant issues and increased capacity for the COVID-19 legal help hotline, where majority of calls have been about housing and landlord/tenant concerns.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

New Orleans, LA

Housing NOLA

To support of a pilot to move homeless families and family groups off the streets or out of hotels and place into short term (3-6 month) rentals. Funds would cover rent, utilities, and wrap-around case management to find permanent housing.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

New Orleans, LA

JOIN

To video tech for case workers & homeless in villages and supportive housing, food delivery, rent and utility bill assistance for formerly homeless, and an eviction prevention and diversion program

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$150,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Portland, OR

Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center

To halt evictions and foreclosure, help place unhoused people in hotels, expand eviction/foreclosure counseling capacity, create tools for tenants to negotiate with landlords and represent undocumented tenants.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$100,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

New Orleans, LA

Daily Planet

To support temporary primary care clinics within shelters and establish computer portal stations within shelters to accommodate televisits

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Richmond, VA

Unity New Orleans

To support additional street outreach worker and cover costs to house individuals in hotels, which would be used to meet FEMA's required 10% match.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

New Orleans, LA

Virginia Poverty Law Center

To support upgrading the Eviction Legal Helpline system to make it more efficient by creating a mechanism that streamlines intake, case creation, and referral

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$100,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Virginia (statewide)

Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative

To fund several local orgs working on homeless response that could not be funded by the collaborative due to oversubscription

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$150,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Minnesota (statewide)

Housing Families First

To support precariously housed families in its emergency shelter and rapid re-housing programs.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Richmond, VA

Community Change

To build the power and capacity of state and local partners and resident leaders to increase state and local revenue for affordable housing, scale and expand resident leadership, and strengthen a national housing movement for policies that address the unmet housing needs of people at the lowest incomes (renewal)

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$250,000

FHO Priority

Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Location

National

Solidarity Economy of St. Louis / STL Mutual Aid Fund

To support a mutual aide group that is partnering with groups like like Tent Mission STL to provide funds directly to people who are experiencing homelessness or moving out of homelessness during the pandemic. The community-led effort is staffed by nearly 500 volunteers and community members.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$15,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

St. Louis, MO

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund

To develop a Tenant Rent Relief and Affordable Housing Stabilization Fund to support their nonprofit borrowers by providing their tenants with rent relief, funding for increased expenses and development delays, and peer knowledge exchange.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$200,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Minnesota

Virginia Housing Alliance

To support a rapid response grant fund to undergird the efforts of organizations across the state who are working to meet the immediate shelter, housing, and feeding needs of the lowest income people in Virginia impacted by COVID-19

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Virginia (statewide)

Beyond Housing

To support a rent and utility relief fund being set up for residents in a majority-Black community in St. Louis

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$125,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

St. Louis, MO

The Eviction Lab

Tto partner with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project partners to Increase the breadth and depth of media discourse on housing issues, particularly housing insecurity and eviction

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$300,000

FHO Priority

Narrative Change

Location

National

Power 4 STL

To provide supports to people who have moved off the streets into hotels by building relationships with people in encampments, helping them access resources if they have symptoms of COVID-19, and supporting nurses in shelters to assess, advise, and help implement safety measures

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$30,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

St. Louis, MO

Street Roots

To support a COVID-19 action team led by people experiencing homelessness, and training and stipends to former street paper venders to provide health outreach in three outdoor temporary homeless villages

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$50,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Portland, OR

Minnesota Homeline

To staff up a tenant hotline which offers free legal advice to renters.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$50,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Minnesota (statewide)

Unite Oregon

To provide utility and rent relief, translation services & simple tools in multiple languages (Arabic, Hmong, Somali, Spanish, Swahili,) on how to access relief from federal government, especially for undocumented communities

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$25,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Portland, OR

National Housing Trust

To expand the capacity of resident services, provide emergency cash assistance to households who have lost income and partner with local organizations to provide meals to food insecure households at affordable housing properties

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$75,000

FHO Priority

COVID-19

Location

Washington, DC

The CaseMade

To support the emerging field of housing narrative research through convenings, tools and collaboration and to help build out a digital platform for exchange of effective narratives being deployed.

Grant Year(s) 

2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$200,000

FHO Priority

Narrative Change

Location

National

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

To expand and continue its technical assistance to public housing authorities, helping them develop comprehensive regional housing mobility programs and preparing them to submit competitive responses to the HUD NOFA for the housing choice mobility voucher demonstration program

Grant Year(s) 

2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Total Grant Amount(s)

$325,000

FHO Priority

Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Location

National

Urban Strategies

To bring together small and emerging businesses and nonprofit organizations into a central hub that will allow them to create, grow and exchange their ideas to address a wide breadth of health-related community challenges

Grant Year(s) 

2019, 2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$400,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

St. Louis, MO

Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center

To combat the displacement of black and Latinx renters throughout the city and work to ensure that the city meets its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) goals to address and remediate residential segregation.

Grant Year(s) 

2019, 2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$200,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

New Orleans, LA

Minnesota Network for Housing Stability & Innovation

To enable the establishment of a community of leaders who center health in housing and who work to increase tenant protections and eviction prevention.

Grant Year(s) 

2019, 2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$400,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

Minnesota (statewide)

Partnership for Housing Affordability

To build more inclusive neighborhoods by engaging in targeted messaging that promotes the benefits of affordable housing and by supporting strategies that address the spectrum of housing needs with a specific focus on long neglected communities disparately impacted by discriminatory policies and practices.

Grant Year(s) 

2019, 2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$400,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

Richmond, VA

National Fair Housing Alliance

To work with partners to develop a campaign to educate stakeholders on the implications of proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and motivate action.

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$50,000

FHO Priority

Flexible Response Fund

Location

National

Community Change, Race Forward and Policy Link

Tto facilitate a coordinated effort to align the housing field around shared values and research-tested frames that can begin to shift the narrative on housing away from paradigms of individual choice/deservedness and housing as a commodity, to one of housing as a fundamental human need and community good that everyone should be able to access and afford

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$800,000

FHO Priority

Narrative Change

Location

National

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

To convene stakeholders on the housing choice mobility voucher demonstration project that was passed into law.

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$10,000

FHO Priority

Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Location

National

Community Change

To build the power and capacity of state and local partners and resident leaders to increase state and local revenue for affordable housing, scale and expand resident leadership, and strengthen a national housing movement for policies that address the unmet housing needs of people at the lowest incomes.

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$150,000

FHO Priority

Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Location

Multi-Regional

National Low-Income Housing Coalition

To customize and bring the Undesign the Redline exhibit to the National Low Income Housing Coalition annual meeting in Washington, DC

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$15,000

FHO Priority

Flexible Response Fund

Location

Washington, DC

The Funders Network

To customize and bring the Undesign the Redline exhibit to The Funders Network annual convening in San Diego, CA

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$15,000

FHO Priority

Flexible Response Fund

Location

National

Welcome Home Coalition

To better organize people impacted by the housing crisis to ensure that local policies, including the implementation of a recently-passed $653 million affordable housing bond, are responsive to the needs of those with very low incomes and historically displaced communities.

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$400,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

Portland, OR

National Fair Housing Alliance

To work with partners including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Fair Housing Task Force to develop a website and campaign to help stakeholders understand implications of proposed changes to the Disparate Impact rule and to motivate action

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$160,000

FHO Priority

Flexible Response Fund

Location

National

National Housing Trust Fund and Enterprise Community Partners

To lead a coalition raising the voices of residents and connecting them to elected representatives and to health, education and energy campaigns in their communities.

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$350,000

FHO Priority

Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Location

National

Urban Strategies

To customize and bring the Undesign the Redline exhibit to the Choice Neighborhoods national convening in New Orleans, LA

Grant Year(s) 

2019

Total Grant Amount(s)

$15,000

FHO Priority

Flexible Response Fund

Location

New Orleans, LA

Council of Large Public Housing Authorities

To foster insight and collaboration of PHAs and other sectors at the intersection of education, housing and health.

Grant Year(s) 

2018, 2019, 2021

Total Grant Amount(s)

$310,000

FHO Priority

Elevating What Works

Location

National

Alliance for Housing Justice

To align grassroots housing organizing groups and networks, amplify the voices of those most impacted by the housing crisis, and connect local and national efforts toward policy reforms addressing the housing crisis facing low- and very-low-income people.

Grant Year(s) 

2018, 2019, 2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$800,000

FHO Priority

Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Location

National

Opportunity Starts at Home

To lead a cross-sector campaign that advances affordable housing solutions for the lowest income people, galvanizing housers, educators, health professionals, civil rights and anti-poverty advocates, the faith-based community, and others.

Grant Year(s) 

2018, 2019, 2020

Total Grant Amount(s)

$3,350,000

FHO Priority

Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Location

National

Alliance for Housing Justice

To create and promote an explainer video on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and help people understand how they can provide input during the public comment period.

Grant Year(s) 

2018

Total Grant Amount(s)

$7,500

FHO Priority

Flexible Response Fund

Location

National

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THEORY OF CHANGE

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