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Mayor Bowser and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Seek Houses of Worship to Help Create Affordable Housing

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) encouraged houses of worship that own land and are working on or considering an affordable housing or mixed-use development project to explore what resources are available and learn more about the application process and timeline by visiting the Enterprise Community Partners’ Faith Based site.  
“Every day, houses of worship across DC step up to support our community in a number of ways. We know that there are faith-based partners out there who see the need for safe and affordable housing and they want to help,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re simplifying the process and making it easier for faith partners to get the guidance and resources they need to build housing in DC.”

The Urban Institute estimates that faith-based institutions own approximately 450 vacant parcels in the District and could assist with producing 6,000 to 29,000 new homes. However, despite their interest in creating affordable housing, many need technical assistance and financial resources to move their concepts to reality.  
“Mayor Bowser has often said ‘a citywide problem takes a citywide solution,’ and faith based institutions have stepped forward to answer the call on housing,” said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio. “Working with Enterprise Community Partners, we’re proud to offer technical assistance and grant funding to faith based institutions at the earliest stages of delivering housing aligned our 36,000 homes by 2025 goal.”  
In March 2022, DHCD announced the selection of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. to administer the faith-based housing pilot grant program, following the release of the Request for Applications in December 2021. Through the initiative, Enterprise Community Partners provides houses of worship specialized training, technical assistance, peer sharing, and catalytic funding support over two years to help them move from conception to construction to completion of their affordable housing and/or mixed-use development vision.
“Enterprise is excited to work with the District as a solution partner to increase the number of new affordable home opportunities for District residents across all eight wards,” said Rev. Joseph K. Williams, Sr., Senior Program Director Enterprise Community Partners. “The 12 participants in this FBDI cohort will increase the number to 29 District houses of worship engaged in Enterprise FBDI cohorts supported by the District government. Enterprise looks forward to continued collaboration with the faith community to help the city meet the Mayor’s affordable housing goals.”

“We have several successful examples of houses of worship contributing to the city’s affordable housing over the years,” said DHCD Interim Director Drew Hubbard. “With technical assistance, capital, and peer-to-peer exchanges, we know several more examples will be on the horizon.”
At the start of her second term, Mayor Bowser set a bold goal to deliver an additional 36,000 housing units – including at least 12,000 units of affordable housing – by 2025. By further equitably distributing these goals across the District’s ten planning areas, Mayor Bowser made DC the first jurisdiction in the nation to create affordable housing goals by neighborhood. As a result, from January 2019 through October 2022, the District has produced 25,344 net new units, of which 6,442 are affordable. You can track the District's progress toward #36000by2025 at   

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