The Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships - Housing and Community Development in Action

The Secretary’s Awards for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships recognize excellence in partnerships that have both transformed the relationships between the sectors and led to measurable benefits in housing and community development, including increased economic development, health, safety, education, workforce development, disaster resilience, inclusivity and cultural opportunities, innovative regional approaches, and/or housing access for low- and moderate-income families.




About the 2017 Award
 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development in partnership with the Council on Foundations, announce the Secretary’s Awards for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships to be awarded at the Council’s 2017 Annual Conference. The Secretary’s Awards for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships recognize excellence in partnerships that have both transformed the relationships between the sectors and led to measurable benefits in housing and community development, including increased economic development, health, safety, education, workforce development, disaster resilience, inclusivity and cultural opportunities, innovative regional approaches, and/or housing access for low- and moderate-income families.

Estimated giving by the nation’s more than 86,700 foundations totaled $60 billion in 2014 alone, with total foundation assets estimated at just over $798 billion (Foundation Center, 2014). Not only are foundations a valuable repository of wealth resources, they are led by a board of trustees and staff who provide expert knowledge of the challenges and opportunities faced by the communities they serve. These human resources facilitate the capacity of foundations to provide leadership on issues like housing and community development. By strengthening the connection between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and philanthropy, these awards highlight the power of collective impact that can be achieved through public-philanthropic partnerships between government entities and foundations.

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The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation/Zarrow Families Foundation
 
Challenge

In 2008, the looming closure of the Tulsa downtown YMCA’s 168-person indigent housing program sparked a community conversation about homelessness, especially among veterans and the mentally ill.

Innovation

The Zarrow Foundations supported Building Tulsa, Building Lives, a successful $30 million community campaign with more than 30 funders and partners. The effort produced 10 supportive housing projects and amplified the message that the annual cost of shelter, at $24,000 per person, was nearly three times more than the cost of supportive housing, at $7,893.

The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation has strategically invested its own $41 million in affordable and supportive housing to improve the lives of nearly 3,000 low-income, veteran, youth, mentally ill, and homeless people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Foundation’s “Alleviating and Preventing Homelessness” initiative has supported partnerships with the Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa, housing and urban development programs, the Mayor’s Office, the State of Oklahoma, and its nonprofit partner Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These public-private partnerships include the Building Tulsa, Building Lives campaign, A Way Home for Tulsa continuum of care, Tulsa’s Zero: 2016 campaign to end chronic homelessness, and the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma’s sustainable supportive housing effort. More than 714 individuals have been housed. An additional $8 million in Zarrow grants supported public-private partnerships in tracking community housing and homeless outcomes, annual case-management and rapid rehousing and eviction funds, improvements in housing and services for youth transitioning from foster care, and a 27-unit supportive housing unit for low-income women with children.

Public Sector Partners:
City of Tulsa and Mayor’s Office, Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa, State of Oklahoma, Department of Human Services and Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Other Partners:
Over 20 foundations, nonprofit organizations, and other partners.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
 
Challenge

Research has shown that low-income children lag behind their more affluent peers in education outcomes such as test scores and grade-level reading competencies. These disparities persist as children age, with older youth consistently faring worse on metrics such as high school graduation and college attendance. Such inequalities set children up for lifelong repercussions.

Innovation

The Pacific Northwest Housing Authority-School District Partnerships Initiative is an effort to improve educational outcomes for children growing up in Section 8 and public housing. The Initiative is based on the idea that intentional, purposeful partnerships between housing authorities and school districts have the potential to dramatically increase academic achievement among those students served by both systems and to disrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty.

The Initiative supports partnerships in King and Pierce Counties in the Puget Sound region involving the Seattle, Tacoma, and King County Housing Authorities and the Seattle, Tacoma, Highline, Kent, and Bellevue School Districts. All of these partnerships have based their efforts on groundbreaking data-sharing agreements between the housing authorities and their school district partners. These agreements are beginning to allow them—for the first time—to understand precisely how many students in subsidized housing are being served within each school district, which specific schools these students are attending, and how these students are doing academically compared to their nonsubsidized peers. Armed with these data, the partnerships are collaboratively working to design measurable interventions that will lead to improved educational outcomes for these co-served students through measures aimed at, for example, reducing chronic absenteeism, improving parent engagement, and increasing kindergarten readiness. In addition to measuring the programmatic effectiveness of such interventions, the Initiative is also closely documenting and evaluating the systemwide, cross-sector changes to institutional practice and policy necessary from both sectors to implement successful partnerships.

Public Sector Partners:
Seattle, Tacoma, and King County Housing Authorities; Seattle, Tacoma, Highline, Kent, and Bellevue School Districts.

Other Partners:
Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA).

 

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Capital One Foundation
 
Challenge

The Y-PLAN (Youth – Plan, Learn, Act, Now) is driven by two key needs: (1) connecting young people to the transformation in their communities, and (2) breaking down historic siloes between schools and their larger communities to create a more seamless connection and collaboration.

Innovation

Y-PLAN NYC is an award-winning community development and educational strategy that empowers young people to tackle deeply rooted city planning challenges in their communities through authentic, project-based civic learning. Y-PLAN has a strong social justice and equity focus designed to impact local communities and young people’s life trajectories.

In Y-PLAN, high school students are “Consultants for Change.” Teams of high school students work for civic leaders on projects focused on improving public transportation, housing development, access to green space, public art and civic space, healthy eating and active living, and more. By establishing partnerships, Y-PLAN connects young people with unique and powerful civic leaders who serve as “clients” posing real problems for teams of students to solve. These relationships fundamentally strengthen democracy and community impact as students see first hand how government works, while civic leaders actively bring young people into local community development decisionmaking. Y-PLAN is recognized nationally as an evidence-based model of community development and participatory planning. Y-PLAN NYC has engaged more than 2,500 high school students, 70 educators, and 50 civic partners across more than 40 different New York City public high schools during the past 5 years and has inspired Y-PLAN city-school leadership initiatives in five other USA cities.

Public Sector Partners:
New York City Department of Education, University of California Berkeley.

Other Partners:
50 civic partners across more than 40 different New York City public high schools.

 

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Community Foundation of the Lowcountry
 
Challenge

Hilton Head Island is surrounded by several bodies of water. Compromised by the island’s high water table and dense underground root systems, some low- to moderate-income homeowners are living with rainflooded septic systems that are producing an overflow of sewage, causing sickness and threatening our environment and economy.

Innovation

A collaborative partnership called Project SAFE (Sewer Access for Everyone) provides grants to low- to moderate-income property owners to connect to public sewers, enabling them to eliminate aging and failing septic systems.

In the poverty-stricken areas of the Hilton Head Island, many of the residents live with septic systems that are in poor condition and disrepair. They cannot afford to repair them, nor can they afford to connect to town water and sewage systems. Each partner in this collaboration has clearly defined goals but together share a common mission: to provide connections from home to sewer for low- to moderateincome property owners. Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has infused $500,000 into the $3.0 million fundraising goal as well as committing to raising the remaining funds necessary to complete the project. The Town of Hilton Head Island has committed to funding sewer line installations, coordinating road and utility easement acquisition, and providing sewer pump stations on town-owned property at a cost to the town of nearly $10 million. The Hilton Head Public Service District will finish building the remaining sewer pump stations at a cost of nearly $3.6 million. To date, 209 connections have been completed. Connections to the remaining 350 qualified households are expected to be complete no later than June 2020.

Public Sector Partners:
Town of Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Public Service District.

 

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The JPMorgan Chase Foundation
 
Challenge

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 29.7 million Americans live in communities where a healthy diet is out of reach. Low income communities have fewer grocery stores and other healthy food retail outlets that provide a wide selection of affordable, nutritious foods.

Innovation

ReFresh is a national network of practitioners engaged to improve access to healthy food across the United States where longstanding barriers exist that make it difficult for residents to live healthier, more stable lives. The goal of ReFresh is to share expertise and pursue opportunities so that practitioners can finance more food access projects that benefit low-income communities, improve healthy food options, and contribute to economic revitalization.

With a grant from JPMorgan Chase, ReFresh was launched with four inaugural partners: the Finance Fund Capital Corporation, the Florida Community Loan Fund, the Colorado Enterprise Fund, and the Northern California Community Loan Fund. The grant enabled Reinvestment Fund to deliver capacity building and technical assistance services to the four ReFresh partners to develop new or expand existing healthy food financing programs in their service areas of Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and Northern California and its Central Valley. Inclusive of Reinvestment Fund, the ReFresh network now includes 19 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). All four partners leveraged the JPMorgan Chase grant 1:1 with public and private grants, each attracting over $400,000 in additional funding for their healthy food programs. At the end of the JPMorgan Chase grant period, the ReFresh network had grown from the four partners to include 19 CDFIs. This national network, seeded by JPMorgan Chase, is leading the way in how to collectively use financing and technical assistance tools to improve healthy food access in urban and rural communities across the country.

Public Sector Partners:
U.S. Department of the Treasury CDFI Fund, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Other Partners:
Reinvestment Fund, Finance Fund Capital Corporation, the Florida Community Loan Fund, the Northern California Community Loan Fund, the Colorado Enterprise Fund.

 

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The Kresge Foundation
 
Challenge

The Detroit mortgage market has struggled to serve residents adequately. After the recession and the housing crisis, home prices plummeted, and homes would rarely appraise at the sales price. Buyers were forced to close in cash—or were out of luck without it. This system is particularly punitive to moderateincome families.

Innovation

The Kresge Foundation and partners produced an ambitious program called Detroit Home Mortgage (DHM). Through DHM, buyers get a first mortgage up to the appraised value of the home and a second mortgage of up to $75,000 for needed repairs. DHM is rebooting the single family home finance system by bringing new homeowners to the city and providing existing homeowners the resources they need to renovate their homes.

The Kresge Foundation provided a $6 million guarantee, its largest guarantee to date, to take the risk off of the second mortgage pool. It also provided $1 million in grant support. Other partners included six regional banks to originate the mortgages; the Ford Foundation, which offered grant support; the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which offered its own guarantee; and the Community Reinvestment Fund, which manages and operates the program. Now, qualified buyers who want to fix up a home in Detroit have a way to do so. This systemwide solution is measured by the number of mortgages originated, underwritten, and closed (as well as the mortgages that come in through DHM but are closed through conventional means). In its first year, the program originated more than 130 pipeline borrowers, including 60 approved borrowers. It also implemented a homebuyer education program with neighborhood-based counseling agencies, helping interested homebuyers understand their mortgage and prepare for the renovation process. Mortgages in the city went up 25 percent from 2015 to 2016, and DHM was responsible for one-third of that bump.

Public Sector Partners:
Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Other Partners:
The Ford Foundation, Community Reinvestment Fund, Huntington Bank, Chemical Bank, Flagstar Bank, Independent Bank, Liberty Bank.

 

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The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles
 
Challenge

Many vulnerable communities in Los Angeles lack safe public spaces, especially when night falls. With few positive outlets around their homes, youth can be left at risk to gangs and criminal activity. Local opportunities for family-oriented activity and community engagement are often limited, exacerbating the risk of crime.

Innovation

In neighborhoods with a high risk of gang activity, Summer Night Lights (SNL) taps into the resources of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) team, the LA Police Department, and the LA Recreation and Parks Department to keep 32 city parks during summer evenings. At each site, programming in partnership with local nonprofit organizations and trained staff provides free family-oriented athletics, arts, learning, food, and health and wellness.

SNL is built on partnerships, and its unique funding model combines public- and private-sector resources. The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles obtains one-half of the program’s financial support from a wide range of philanthropic, private, and nonprofit partners. The program receives roughly equal matching support, staff time, and other in-kind public support from the City. Since 2008, SNL has provided free-of-charge programming to over 6 million community members, served over 3.5 million healthy meals, and created over 9,174 jobs including 2,220 youth hires. In 2016, over 690,500 people participated in SNL. In the face of a citywide uptick in crime, SNL sites were resilient. Of the 32 parks with full-time SNL programming, 26 saw a decrease or no change in gang-related crimes. Crime prevention and gang reduction, the hallmarks of GRYD, are not SNL’s only benefits. By activating public parks through private and nonprofit partners, the program provides safe spaces, youth employment, education and learning, and active environments for communities to interact positively.

Public Sector Partners:
City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, U.S. Department of Justice.

Other Partners:
Annenberg Foundation, Ahmanson Foundation, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Milken Family Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Disney, Target, AT&T, Kaiser Permanente, Youth Policy Institute, Choose Health LA, Hope Worldwide.

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New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
 
Challenge

New Hampshire’s young people have some of the highest rates of substance use in the country. The state is first in the nation for young adult drinking, third for youth drinking and binge drinking, and in the top 10 for other drug use.

Innovation

In 2012, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation forged a new public-private partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS) to reduce substance use among New Hampshire’s youth. The Foundation committed $12 million over 10 years to the partnership.

The Foundation and BDAS have focused their efforts on implementing the state’s comprehensive substance misuse strategy—Collective Action, Collective Impact—established by the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery to “improve our collective action through expanded leadership, resourcing, best practices, training, monitoring, and other strategic activities.” The funding was used to support the state’s newly expanded regional public health networks, to develop and implement evidence based prevention strategies, and to support three prevention initiatives targeting youth—The Partnership for a Drug Free New Hampshire, Youth Leadership Through Adventure, and Life of an Athlete. The Foundation and BDAS also co-fund the New Hampshire Center for Excellence in Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, a hub for training, technical assistance, and information dissemination to support communities, practitioners, policymakers, and stakeholders. After 5 years, the state is seeing positive results. There have been significant declines in all rates of youth substance abuse since the Foundation’s funding was brought into the system.

Public Sector Partners:
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services.

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Nusenda Foundation
 

Nusenda Foundation

Challenge

The Integration Initiative (TII) focuses on racial and socioeconomic inclusion and is dedicated to improving conditions for low-income residents and residents of color while building a healthier and more diverse economy.

Innovation

The goal of TII is to accelerate job creation and economic mobility, particularly for low-income individuals and individuals of color who are traditionally left out of the business and financial mainstreams, through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship and through connecting resources.

TII has a vision to help Albuquerque reach its potential using innovation and entrepreneurship to accelerate job creation and economic mobility. The program started in 2012 with discussions between the mayor of Albuquerque, the president of the University of New Mexico (UNM), and economic development leaders. The Nusenda Foundation’s executive director shared these ideas to develop homegrown job creation strategies for marginalized populations with Living Cities, leading Albuquerque to become one of five TII awardees in 2014. Support for the project comes from public funding streams from the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, UNM, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration as well as private funding from Living Cities, the Kauffman Foundation, WK Kellogg Foundation, McCune Charitable Foundation, and Nusenda Credit Union, and in-kind and financial contributions from many local partners. Results include better-connected resources, a more diverse and thriving economy, and better data collection and analysis capacity to inform decisionmaking.

Public Sector Partners:
City of Albuquerque, Mayor’s Office; Bernalillo County, Economic Development Department; University of New Mexico; U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Other Partners:
Living Cities, Kauffman Foundation, McCune Charitable Foundation, Albuquerque Community Foundation, WK Kellogg Foundation.

 

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The Skillman Foundation
 

The Skillman Foundation

Challenge

Youth employment became a focus in response to a clear message from neighborhood youth who reported having few job opportunities to obtain or aspire to.

Innovation

Working to address the high rates of disconnected youth and unemployment in Detroit, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) is a 6-week summer youth employment program. GDYT combines work readiness training with on-the-job experience designed to prepare Detroiters aged 14 to 24 years for the workforce. With the help of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the city’s philanthropic and corporate leaders, GDYT’s current goal is to provide 8,000 youth with meaningful employment.

Chaired by Skillman Foundation staff, this new public-private partnership is committed to expanding summer and year-round employment opportunities for Detroit youth. GDYT has four programmatic components. First, youth are prepared for the workplace through at least 24 hours of work readiness training prior to placement at a worksite. Second, eligible youth are recruited through local schools, community organizations, and the City’s workforce development system. Youth are matched with employers based on interest, ability, and accessibility. Employers can interview candidates or allow GDYT youth specialists to manage the placement process. Third, youth are supported throughout the summer by their assigned GDYT youth specialist, who helps youth succeed in the workplace. Youth also receive program shirts that serve as bus passes throughout the summer. Fourth, GDYT makes the employer’s job easier by providing support to ensure success. Every employer has access to training, a toolkit, and liaisons. The GDYT program also handles human resources matters and youth payroll.

Public Sector Partners:
City of Detroit; Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation; Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Wayne County; State of Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development; U.S. Department of Labor.

Other Partners:
Supported by nearly 30 funders and corporations.

 

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