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2015 Year in Review

As we kick off the New Year, Enterprise’s Chicago team will continue to build on a strong foundation of accomplishments. In 2015, we ramped up programs in both Chicago and Detroit, invested in new housing and made plans to meet our future goals. Our regional work helps us move closer to Enterprise’s national 2020 commitment to provide opportunity to 1 million low-income families through quality affordable housing connected to good schools, jobs, transit and health care.

Overview of our efforts and impact:

$600 million of our investment in the region through Enterprise’s family of financial companies

  • Enterprise Community Investment invested $34.8 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity, supporting new construction and rehab of multifamily housing in Chicago and St. Louis
  • Enterprise Community Loan Fund provided $8.9 million of short term loans to support multifamily and scattered-site affordable housing construction and rehabilitation
  • Bellwether Enterprise provided $556 million in mortgages across Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Capital is being used to build affordable and market rate housing, as well as mortgages for healthcare, hospitality, industrial, office and retail construction.

Nurturing innovation with capacity building grants

In 2015, Enterprise awarded $1.12 million in HUD Section 4 capacity building grants to 29 organizations:

  • $614,000 in in Illinois
  • $128,000 in Minnesota
  • $378,000 in the city of Detroit

These grants enable affordable housing nonprofits to improve real estate strategies, pursue transit-oriented development opportunities, advance green housing and pursue place-specific revitalization strategies. In 2015, our capacity building grants required at least a three to one match in private funds. Many organizations provided even more matching dollars, resulting in more than $3.36 million in direct investment. Certain grants also helped to generate new housing, with a number groundbreakings and openings in 2015:

In addition to awarding HUD capacity building grants, Enterprise also supported a Rose Fellowship in Chicago with $144,000 in funding that empowered an architect to develop a multifamily Passive House model and utility reduction strategies for Heartland Housing’s existing portfolio of more than 1,000 units.

Working in concert with our programmatic initiatives, these funds also help us, and the affordable housing sector, work together to advance our 2020 commitment.

Fostering equitable transit-oriented development

According to the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), transit-oriented development (TOD) can reduce dependence on cars, improve the cost of living, connect workers to opportunity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But today, fewer Chicagoland residents live near transit than in 1950.

Chicago’s TOD ordinance is a step in the right direction, but it’s only the first step. That’s why Enterprise is working with partners across multiple sectors to implement TOD across the Chicago region.

This year, we provided capacity building grants to 10 community developers pursuing TOD projects in Chicagoland. We also launched the Enterprise eTOD Collaborative (eTOD) in partnership with CNT to enhance the collective impact of these projects and organizations. And, we continued our ongoing support for TOD in the South Suburbs through the Southland Community Loan Fund, and through technical assistance to developers and municipalities, with the expectation of supporting several projects in 2016.

These efforts will ultimately improve lives by creating communities with affordable homes connected to jobs, good schools, recreational areas and health care through multiple modes of transportation.

Supporting Community Rebirth in Detroit

Enterprise is proud to support the revitalization of Detroit. Since we began working in Detroit in 2014, the Enterprise Chicago team and Enterprise Advisors have engaged in efforts to build organizational capacity and to make development sustainable, resilient and affordable.

In November of 2015, with the assistance of a Ford Foundation grant, we brought Kylee Mitchell on board as our program director for the Detroit area. We invite you to join Kylee, the Chicago team and the groundswell of renewed enthusiasm that’s building in Detroit. Together, we can build a promising new future for the residents of Detroit, in which affordable housing, connected to opportunity, is available for all. Learn more about Enterprise’s work in Detroit.
 

Green Affordable Housing

The Enterprise Sustainability Exchange (ESE) started in 2014 as a capacity building program for community development organizations aimed at creating a more sustainable affordable housing sector, and built on past years effort to support project-specific sustainability efforts in Chicago. ESE’s core programming includes

  • Workshops
  • Strategy sessions
  • Individualized technical assistance in collaboration with Elevate Energy
  • Capacity building funds to support sustainability goals

Five year 1 ESE members completed energy benchmarking, retrofits and are working to implement resident engagement strategies, along with other organization specific goals. Year 2 ESE members worked to set goals and began implementing green strategies in 2015, which will continue throughout 2016.

These efforts impact thousands of buildings and residents. In addition, in 2015 the Chicago office worked to broaden ESE beyond the small group cohort, offering up national resources in the form of in-person workshops on the Green Communities Criteria (in both Chicago and Detroit) and the Ready to Respond Tools for Resilience (in Chicago).

Coming in 2016

In 2015, we worked to jump start two exciting collaborations we aim to build on in 2016: the regional Lifetime Communities Collaborative (LCC) and the neighborhood-focused Albany Park preservation initiative.

LCC came together in 2015 to ensure that older adults in every community in the Chicago region have what they need to thrive as they age. The collaborative assembled a multisector partnership of six governmental, nonprofit and educational organizations that share this goal.

The Albany Park preservation initiative, launched in collaboration with the Chicago Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation and Communities United, involves the preservation of affordable housing in the Albany Park neighborhood through renovation of existing 2-flat buildings. The desired outcome – give low- and moderate-income families an opportunity to grow in this northwest side community with access to quality education and convenient public transportation.

Making our work possible

Enterprise Community Partners is a national organization that works to create opportunity for low- and moderate-income families and individuals through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities. Our unique blend of solutions, finance and advocacy brings public-private partnerships and solutions to end housing insecurity. Complimentary to the housing finance efforts of our family of financial companies, the programmatic work of Enterprise Community Partners is funded in part by philanthropic and government dollars. We would like to thank several key supports of our work in Chicago, Detroit and the Midwest for making our programmatic work possible in 2015.

  • Bank of America Foundation
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • The Chicago Community Trust
  • Ford Foundation
  • JPB Foundation
  • Polk Brothers Foundation
  • Sally Mead Hands Foundation
  • State Farm
  • US Bank
  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

We are thankful for our funders and our partners on the ground that develop, own and operate high quality affordable housing. The momentum we built in 2015 will ensure that this year we get closer to our 2020 commitment to provide opportunity to 1 million families.

Andy Geer
Chicago Vice President and Market Leader