CSH HomeFront: Boosting lending to BIPOC communities, health & housing, events & more

A CSH Newsletter

CSH Announces Action Plan to Increase Capital, Equity, and Access for BIPOC Developers in Supportive Housing 

"I cannot afford to be a developer on my own because I don't have the working capital or access to financing."

Female-Owned Minority Business Enterprise

Centuries of systemic racism have created a massive gap in wealth and ownership in the housing sector. 

Over the last three decades, we have observed and documented how Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have suffered from historical discrimination perpetuated by racist policies in healthcare, housing, and justice systems. The inequities in the housing sector are evident in lending decisionsdamaging urban planning projects, and imbalances in generational wealth tied to homeownership. 

But, access to capital remains the most significant barrier for BIPOC developers.

Women and people of color manage less than 1.3% of the $70 trillion global financial markets comprising of mutual funds, hedge funds, real estate, and private equity. Not surprisingly, just 2% of the real estate industry in the United States includes Black-led companies. This racial homogeneity in asset management lends itself to biases in lending and financing decisions forcing limitations on BIPOC developers.

To bridge this gap and expand BIPOC developers' access to capital and resources in supportive housing, we have launched the "Redesigning Access by Centering Equity" or RACE Initiative. In 2021, we committed more than $60 million in lending and aim to continue to allocate more funds over the next five years. This action plan seeks to:

  • Increase the number of loans and investments provided by CSH to BIPOC-led groups.
  • Increase the proportion of CSH's overall lending investment offered to BIPOC-led groups. 
  • Make resources and tools available to BIPOC-led developers using CSH's signature Incubator Academy and Supportive Housing Institute(s), personalized training, and one-on-one technical assistance. 
  • Advance policies that reduce barriers for BIPOC-led developers to access critical financing resources needed to fund, develop, maintain, and operate supportive housing in the long term.
"I would love to do my own projects, but I don't have the financial capacity or banking relationships to do so."

Female-Owned Minority Business Enterprise

As the economic toll of the pandemic continues to affect low-income and minority neighborhoods disproportionately, the urgency to expand capital and investment access for BIPOC developers has become more prevalent. The CSH RACE Initiative will expand lending and technical opportunities in the local communities that need supportive housing. 

As a certified community development financial institution (CDFI), CSH realizes the importance of lending and pre-development resources. By financing BIPOC developers, those who know their communities well, we also aim to spur entrepreneurship, expand business opportunities, decrease housing segregation, and increase homeownership rates in BIPOC communities. 

Learn More About the RACE Initiative

CSH Celebrates Black History Month By Recognizing Black Leaders Who Fought for Housing Justice 

From Ida B. Wells to Robert C. Weaver, these Black trailblazers paved the path for equitable and fair housing. The movement they started is far from over, and as CSH and our partners work towards advancing racial equity and access to housing, their legacies give us hope and strength. Join us in recognizing these historical figures and creating a more just and equitable world where everyone has the housing and services they need to thrive in the communities they call home.

CSH Unveils A New Map Showing States' Progress In Using Medicaid to Fund Services in Supportive Housing 

A number of states are looking to both increase supportive housing capacity and quality. One component of improving quality could be developing more intensive supportive services. Many barriers exist to increasing supportive housing capacity for most communities, including a lack of a Medicaid Authority. Over a dozen states already have in place some supportive housing services benefit, and CSH's new MAP can help you find where your state is in the process. This brief provides a detailed summary of state actions and lessons that could be replicated in your state. Read More. 

A Groundbreaking Collaboration in Minnesota Supports Communities Across the State in Utilizing Medicaid Resources to End Homelessness

For the past two years, CSH has partnered with the Minnesota Engagement on Shelter and Housing (MESH), North Star Policy Institute, and Ei-Consultants to support implementing the first statewide Medicaid, Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) tenancy support benefit called Housing Stabilization Services (HSS). Housing and homeless services providers use this benefit to help people obtain and maintain housing.

To date, the Minnesota HSS TA team has provided free training and technical assistance to more than 60 housing and homelessness providers and four tribal nations as they work to implement this new set of Medicaid billable services.

As part of their implementation work, the group created a website that includes recorded and upcoming events and trainings, step-by-step guides and tools to help with all implementation aspects. Learn More.

Addressing Structural Racism Through Systemic, Cross-sector Solutions Will Advance Health Equity

Decades of explicit structural racism in federal housing programs and wider housing market policies have denied people of color, and particularly Black people, the ability to access, retain, and reap the benefits of healthy, high-quality housing. 

The concept of social determinants of health (SDOH) is rooted in an understanding that the conditions that people are born into (and live in) shape their health. It is essential that efforts to improve patient health address not only medical care, but the physical environment, social and economic needs, health behaviors, and other factors.

As part of our technical assistance collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), CSH published a paper that provides examples of how structural racism in housing has affected inequities in SDOH and health outcomes. The recommendations and community examples for health centers included in the report also highlight how health and housing partners can work together to address health inequities that are driven by structural racism. Read Here

7 Strategies to Engage the Health Sector and Advance Supportive Housing 

The 2022 CSH Health Strategy paper presents seven plans of action that the supportive housing field can use to engage in the health sector based on our work across the country. These strategies centered on equity are timely and address opportunities that communities can use now to maximize impact. We understand that every community has different needs and a different policy and political context. Therefore, while not every strategy may apply to all communities, everyone can benefit from focusing on one of the strategies outlined in the paper. Read More

USICH Executive Director, Jeff Olivet: "Reframe Homelessness as a Public Health Crisis"

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that lack of housing is a public health crisis. The over-representation of BIOPOC in the rates of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 is driven by underlying institutional and systemic racism. To fully address the impact of both COVID-19 and the affordable housing crisis, the housing and services sectors need to collaborate with the public health sector. 

"Too often, public officials and the general public view homelessness as an intractable social problem that will always be with us. I refuse to believe that homelessness is inevitable," said Jeff Olivet as he took on his new role step as the Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).

"We must bring the same urgency, focus, creativity, and resources that we would to any other public health emergency—a tornado, a hurricane, or a pandemic," he added. 

We couldn't agree more. CSH's paper outlines many of the commonalities between the public health field and those who work to align housing and services and offers suggestions on how we can all collaborate effectively. This work was generously supported by a grant from the Bank of America Foundation. Read More.
CSH's Work Around the Country

New Report Provides Actions to Support the Decarceration of Rikers Island, Reduce Racial Disparities, and End the Cycle of Homelessness

Several thousand people experiencing homelessness and struggling with unmet behavioral health needs are incarcerated on Rikers Island.

When released, these community members struggle to find adequate support, cycle through crisis systems (including shelter and emergency departments), and likely return to Rikers Island. This group needs an intervention of supportive housing — a combination of affordable housing with voluntary, individualized services — to reenter society and thrive.

With generous funding from Trinity Church Wall Street, CSH collaborated with the Supportive Housing Network of New York to publish a recent report that outlines the fiscal costs of supportive housing to serve the criminal-legal impacted population. The report calls on Mayor Eric Adams' administration to implement key actions focused on:

  • A Significant Investment in Supportive Housing
  • Improving Access to Supportive Housing
  • Increasing transparency by creating a reliable data and reporting infrastructure with key city agencies

It would cost NYC $1.4B less annually to house the estimated 2,589 people incarcerated on Rikers Island compared to incarcerating the same number of people in one year! These investments will end the cycle of homelessness and institutionalization for an estimated 2,589 people in one year. Read More.

Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle in Pima County Through Supportive Housing

In April 2019, Pima County Administration Criminal Justice Reform Unit (CJRU) launched a partnership to reduce justice involvement and recidivism for people experiencing homelessness and struggling to obtain and sustain housing. The County contracted CSH to provide technical assistance and training.

The RAND Social and Economic Well-Being program provided an interim and final evaluation of the project's outcomes and costs. The organization's final report, released recently, serves as a foundation for the next phase of this successful program that aims to increase housing stability for Pima County residents.

The county housed 148 participants through the program, of which 82% remained in the housing setting. The program successfully housed individuals, saved the justice system $1.2 Million, and led to a 45% reduction in health care costs. Read More.

CSH Urges California To Invest In Housing for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

California reduced its prison population by 25% over the last decade, potentially saving billions in operating and repair expenses. To fix the broken system of support for people struggling to reenter society after exiting prison, CSH is joining PATH, Housing California, and other partners by supporting Assembly Bill 1816 introduced by Assembly Member Isaac G. Bryan.

This bill would create the Reentry Housing & Workforce Development Grant Program to fund evidence-based housing, support services, and workforce development programs for formerly incarcerated people in state prisons and who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Funder Spotlight

In 2018, the Weingart Foundation awarded CSH a grant to take a transformative step at a critical point in our progress towards racial and economic justice. With Weingart Foundation's support, CSH provided training and education to help our Los Angeles team better understand racial equity. The grant also supported a race-equity internship for two leaders of color with lived experience of homelessness in Los Angeles.

In late 2021, the Weingart Foundation awarded CSH an additional grant to enable the Los Angeles team to continue their journey towards advancing racial equity in the field and supporting CSH's effort in becoming an anti-racist organization. CSH uses this grant to create intentional feedback loops between individuals with lived experiences of homelessness and CSH's Los Angeles program staff to ensure our work is rooted in our shared commitment to racial equity. The grant will also help us address tenant retention among Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in Los Angeles County.

Inspire and Be Inspired as a Volunteer Speak Up! Coach 

CSH seeks professionals in the performing arts, writing, coaching, and speech development fields for a rewarding and highly-moving volunteer experience. Professionals who identify as persons of color are especially invited to apply.

Join award-winning filmmakers, writers, performers and other professionals in CSH's Speak Up! program to coach supportive housing residents in becoming community leaders and to be public speakers. "I would encourage anybody, especially an artist, to be a coach and work with people with lived experience who are willing to share incredible stories and step up to being an advocate for change," Tanya White, former Speak Up! coach said. 

While advocates are based in the Los Angeles area, volunteers may reside anywhere in the country. Apply Now.

Read where we are making local and national headlines

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