Enterprise Communities Plus Unites Housing and Financial Capability in New York City
Practitioners often note that housing can be used as a platform to support additional services for low-to-moderate income families. This theory was put to the test by Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) as they began a pilot program in 2018, Enterprise Community Plus (EC+), to provide financial capability services to residents in two neighborhoods in New York City. Enterprise is a nonprofit housing developer seeking to create opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities. The pilot program seeks to develop a network of service providers dedicated to supporting the housing developments and introduce rent reporting for credit building and matched savings accounts to residents. Prosperity Now joined the implementation process in May 2018.
This brief provides initial information about the participants that are currently enrolled in the program, in addition to lessons learned to guide other organizations in their efforts to provide financial capability services within housing programs. While the pilot is ongoing , we’ve learned several important lessons that can be shared with the field, including:
- A strong central agency is vital to ensuring a network of organizations coordinates services and activities. The coordinating agency should support all stakeholders, including neighborhood hubs, property managers and residents to engage early in the planning process.
- Outreach efforts should be tailored and tweaked throughout the program design process to allow for the maximum engagement from residents as possible. In particular, determining the target population for services is a key support of outreach efforts.
- There is a need for flexibility within these programs, so organizations must be willing to adapt. Participating organizations should monitor uptake to determine if the programs are right for resident needs.
Check out our full brief here. Please contact the authors should you like to request more information.