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Kresge part of new effort to address housing instability across the country


Study after study has shown that when housing is affordable and accessible, our neighbors and our neighborhoods thrive – children do better in school, seniors are healthier longer and more socially connected, parents and children experience more positive mental health, workers are more productive, trips to the emergency room are reduced, and families have more disposable incomes to boost local economies.

That’s why nine of the nation’s largest private foundations have joined forces to make catalytic investments in activities that address housing insecurity and improve the lives of people and families who have difficulty affording a place to call home.

Yet far too many people and families do not benefit from this platform for success. More than 12 million Americans pay more than half of their incomes on rent or have no place to call home at all. These are teachers, grandparents, home health aides, hospitality workers – people we know, interact with, and depend on every day. And they are finding it harder to maintain their footing as demand for rental housing increases: the nation has seen the largest jump in renters in any 10-year period on record, resulting in rapid increases in rental costs.  When housing is this unaffordable, children, families and whole communities suffer.

Recognizing this, nine foundations from across the country have joined together to form Funders for Housing and Opportunity. They include:

  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • The JPB Foundation
  • The Kresge Foundation, 
  • Melville Charitable Trust
  • Oak Foundation.   

Separately, these foundations invested more than $65 million in domestic housing-related activities in 2017.   The new collaborative allows these foundations to align strategies, leverage their funds, and extend their reach beyond what they could individually support.

Funders for Housing and Opportunity has a bold goal: To ensure individuals and families across America who spend more than half of their income on rent — or have no homes at all — will be able to afford safe, stable rentals in thriving communities. The partners 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 priorities. Nearly five million has initially been committed to four grantees over the next three years to:.

  1. advance efforts that will result in more people being able to afford safe and stable housing by supporting policy change at the local, state, and Federal levels through national and state level advocacy work and local resident engagement.
  1. raise awareness about housing as a shared public concern through support of efforts that pose alternatives to commonly held but misleading beliefs about why housing matters and its connection to opportunity.
  1. 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 sustainable, long-term change and make a measurable difference in the ability of our nation’s most vulnerable families to afford stable housing so that they and communities across our nation will have the opportunity to thrive.  More information about the collaborative and the investments it has already made can be found at