Support for Affordable Housing Communities: COVID-19 Resources from our Portfolio Partners

As communities are hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has highlighted the essential role that housing plays in protecting health and well-being.

Many of our portfolio partners are affordable housing developers and lenders who build and preserve affordable homes across the country. They are working with properties to ensure the health and safety of residents and trying to mitigate the devastating economic impacts that the crisis is having on their communities. Several of our partners have developed COVID-19 specific resources related to affordable housing which we have listed below.

Calvert Impact Capital and our partners are committed to supporting both investors and communities in creating near-term and long-term solutions to the crisis. While this blog is focused on highlighting relief efforts from our partners in the affordable housing sector in the U.S., all our portfolio partners are working hard to support their communities. We will continue to share efforts from our portfolio partners working in a range of sectors and geographies in the coming weeks.

COVID-19 Resources from some of our Affordable Housing Partners in the U.S.:

Artspace: Artspace has created a dedicated COVID-19 response portal that provides up-to-date statements from their leadership as well as resources for the creative community during the pandemic. Artspace announced that evictions on renters affected by COVID-19 will be suspended, late fees will be waived, and rent increase notifications will be suspended through April 30. Artspace has also compiled a list of resources for artists, organized by state, along with a list of national resources for artists during the crisis.

BRIDGE Housing: BRIDGE Housing has created a COVID-19 Resources for Residents page which links to multilingual resource guides they prepared to help residents with needs in areas such as health, reassurance and support, food, employment, financial, internet and utilities. They have also listed homeschooling resources for families whose children's schools are closed.

Central City Concern: Central City Concern was recently awarded $100,000 from Kaiser Permanente to buy masks, gloves, gowns, and cleaning supplies in an effort to support Portland’s homeless population against COVID-19. Through its healthcare services, Central City Concern is now able to test homeless populations for coronavirus, and support prevention and treatment of homeless populations around the city.

Enterprise Community: In response to COVID-19, Enterprise Community has set up the Emergency Action for Resident and Partner Stability program, which aims to ensure that vulnerable, low-income families and individuals can remain in their homes and access support during this crisis through grants and technical assistance for affordable housing operators. Enterprise Community has also set up a dedicated COVID-19 Response page where it has federal policy and advocacy efforts (including letters to Congress), COVID-19 related blog posts, resources for affordable housing building owners, and COVID-19 webinars.

Housing Partnership Network: HPN is working to provide opportunities for robust peer/member exchange alongside resources that can help provide relief from the impact of COVID-19 on affordable housing communities and their owners. HPN is also advocating for federal funding to address the impact of COVID-19 on affordable housing in partnership with Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, Enterprise Community Partners, LISC, National NeighborWorks Association, Opportunity Finance Network and other affordable housing groups.

Jonathan Rose Companies: Jonathan Rose Companies released a COVID-19 Position Statement in late March. In this statement they outline their organizational priorities during the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to creating an internal COVID-19 Taskforce, they have committed to maintain their staff compensation levels at their previous rates, regardless of reduced on site hours. The Rose Social Impact teams are working to establish alternative delivery mechanisms that ensure much needed food is received safely by residents. They’re also working on creative ways to try to alleviate social isolation and boredom amongst resident groups.

Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH): POAH has created an interactive resource website, a search engine for social services available during the COVID 19 outbreak. Using your zip code, you can use the search engine for free or reduced cost resources in your local community, such as housing, food, & medical assistance. They have also created a COVID 19 Resident Resource Page where POAH residents can download handouts with available resources organized by state and local region. POAH Communities is suspending any non-essential evictions in process and is prohibiting initiation of any new non-essential evictions until further notice. See here to learn more about POAH’s response to COVID 19.

ROC USA: ROC USA has a dedicated page for all its COVID-19 resource efforts. They’re offering rent assistance grants to help ease the financial burden of COVID 19 for its residents in need of emergency assistance. To fund these grants, they’re raising money through their #BetterTogether COVID-19 Fundraiser for Emergency Grants, in which each dollar raised will be matched by ROC USA. Through the COVID 19 crisis, ROC USA is committed to providing positive stories from their communities through their COVID-19 Community Spotlight Page. They also have created an online member forum for discussions related to COVID 19. See here for downloadable “Stop the Spread” posters created by ROC USA for printing and displaying around communities across the country.

Along with the above resources, many of our affordable housing borrowers have created repositories of external resources being offered during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please see our portfolio list to learn more about our other affordable housing borrowers.

For updates from some of these portfolio partners in real time, follow them on Twitter: @artspaceusa, @BRIDGEhousing, @CCCPortland, @EnterpriseNow, @HPN_Network, @RoseCompaniesNY, @POAHCommunities, @ROCUSAorg