Enterprise Community Partners Launches Nonprofit Rental Assistance Program

May 19, 2020, Michael Mora, GlobeSt.com - As nonprofits organizations are facing a nationwide cash crunch, a new program intends to provide relief funding, so families living in low-income communities can remain in their homes and access support amidst the coronavirus pandemic.  Enterprise Community Partners just launched the Emergency Action for Resident and Partner Stability program. 

It primarily gives funding to nonprofits to distribute among low-income families and individuals, many of whom are African American, in both rural and native communities that reside in Enterprise Community Partners’ 11 markets around the country. 

Priscilla Almodovar, CEO of the Enterprise Community Partners, says because of the current lack of government funding, philanthropy can provide the short term relief that is desperately needed.

“Covid-19 is disproportionately impacting people and communities of color,”  Almodovar said.  “Affordable housing providers, many of whom are nonprofits, are on the front-lines assembling resources to support their residents and carry out basic operations.”

Among the flexible support the Emergency Action program delivers are three primary services.

One, for nonprofit community partners, provides access to emergency grants up to $150,000.  It is an effort to help organizations stay afloat and meet immediate needs, such as residential services, utilities and rent, for the families and individuals they serve.

Secondly, community based-nonprofits can access immediate and long-term guidance on resilience planning and financial strategies, along with technical assistance and training to remain viable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thirdly, the Emergency Action program provides aid for organizations that need critical government relief funds, in addition to other remedies to help meet the needs of residents and the community.

Almodovar says government aid is critical in the long term. In the meantime, Enterprise has contributed $1.4 million and the Wells Fargo Foundation has provided a $2 million contribution of its resources to the program.

The Ballmer Group, and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy have also made substantial donations.  The philanthropic support allows the distribution of vast resources across the country at fast speeds.

Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation, stresses the importance of the initiative.

“Having a safe and affordable place to call home is essential at any time, but especially during Covid-19,” Fitzgerald said.  “During this unprecedented time, too many individuals, including people of color, are struggling financially and facing instability.”