Tag: David Bowers

Efforts to shed light on housing affordability in the region and beyond

HOUSING
Over the past six months, Leadership Greater Washington, in partnership with WRAG, has hosted a thought-leadership series on housing affordability. Last week’s session on regional solutions featured the Roadmap for Our Region’s Economic Future, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group, and WRAG’s Our Region, Your Investment initiative – all efforts in which WRAG is very involved. The Washington Post published a story on the importance of housing affordability to our region and focused specifically on the work of the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group. (WaPo, 5/28)

[…] a group of local leaders representing government, business and the philanthropic sector is studying whether to propose a “regional compact” in which the Washington area as a whole would commit to addressing runaway housing costs.

If nothing is done, they warn, the problem of overpriced housing will fester until it eventually explodes into a widely recognized crisis — much as the Metro transit system’s problems were ignored for years until they recently triggered a burst of attention.

Gretchen Greiner-Lott, who leads these efforts for WRAG, had this to say of the coverage:

Solving big issues takes collaboration. The Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group is just that – a regional, cross-sector collaboration of committed folks working on the issue. I am so pleased to see our work highlighted in the media.

– A new report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, along with an interactive website supported by JPMorgan Chase, provide a close look at the disparity between rental housing costs and renter income in every jurisdiction in the U.S. In order to be able to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in D.C., one would need to earn $31.21 an hour; $26.53 an hour in Maryland; and $22.44 an hour in Virginia. (NLIHC, 5/25)

– A new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examines a decline in federal support for housing aid for families with children. Despite the damaging effects of the Great Recession to many families with children, the share of federal housing assistance that went to those families declined over the last several years. (City Lab, 5/26)

COMMUNITY 
– The Council on Foundations recently named Floyd Mills as its Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This role is a new position “intended to advance the Council’s work to promote inclusiveness as a fundamental operating principal in philanthropic organizations.” (COF, 5/23)

– Trustee, member of the board of directors, and Veterans Liaison for the PwC Charitable Foundation, Frank Guadio, recently sat with The Huffington Post to discuss best practices for collaboration on issues related to veterans. (HuffPo, 5/25)

REGION
– An annual ranking by the Trust for the Public Land places D.C. at number three and Arlington at number four on its list of the best U.S. cities for parks. Factors to determine the ranking included: accessibility; amenities; size; and the amount of money spent per resident on parks. (WaPo, 5/26)

– Loudoun County Reportedly the “Happiest” County in America (Washingtonian, 5/31)


A new art exhibit appeals to the procrastinator and/or perfectionist in all of us. 

– Ciara

Visualizing the affordable housing deficit across the U.S.

HOUSING
A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC ) finds that each county in the U.S. is lacking in affordable housing, and there is no state where someone earning a minimum wage salary could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment at market rate. NLIHC also created a map to visualize the number of affordable units available to low-income renters by each state. (City Lab, 3/28)

Using 2014 American Community Survey data, the report’s authors calculated the number of units families earning below 30 percent of the median income in their areas could rent comfortably, without devoting more than 30 percent of their income towards housing.

[…]

Overall, the report found that only 31 such units existed for every set of 100 poor families in the U.S. And this deficit increased as families got poorer (only 17 affordable units were available per 100 families in the bottom 15 percent, for example)—and turned into a surplus for those at the higher end of the income ladder.

– At a recent affordable housing forum, vice president and Mid-Atlantic Market Leader of Enterprise Community Partners and WRAG Board member David Bowers, discussed challenges and strategies surrounding affordable housing and community development in the region. (Bisnow, 3/28)

– DC Fiscal Policy Institute examines Mayor Bowser’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget and what it could mean for affordable housing and rental assistance for District residents. (DCFPI, 3/28)

– Living From Rent To Rent: Tenants On The Edge Of Eviction (NPR, 3/29)

FOOD 
– Meal delivery services are a great convenience, but only when you live in the right zip code. Many of these services don’t extend their offerings to communities that could truly benefit from broader meal options – communities considered food deserts. (DCist, 3/24)

– Organic Foods Still Aren’t As Mass Market As You Might Think (NPR, 3/28)

WOMEN/WORKFORCE | A new report finds that 24 of the 25 largest U.S. cities saw the average rate of growth for women-owned businesses surpass the national average. Further, the report found a funding gap between women and men-owned firms that, if decreased, would strengthen the economy significantly. Citi Community Development is named as a partner in helping female business owners reach their goals. (City Lab, 3/24)


Check out some great photos of the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

– Ciara

Big announcements from WRAG’s 2015 Annual Meeting

WRAG
Last week, WRAG held our 2015 Annual Meeting, Philanthropy All In, at the National Press Club. We made several big announcements during the event.

 

  • WRAG Board of Directors
    The following leaders were elected for a two-year term on the WRAG Board of Directors:

David Bowers, Enterprise Community Partners
Rose Ann Cleveland, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Nicky Goren, The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

The following Board  Members were re-elected for a second two-year term on the WRAG Board of Directors:

Lindsey Buss, World Bank Group
Desiree Griffin-Moore, The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County
Yanique Redwood, The Consumer Health Foundation

  • Get on the Map
    Members can now explore this new resource for accurate, timely, and quality data on philanthropy in the region.

HEALTH | For the first time, the Northern Virginia Health Foundation (NVHF) has awarded $125,000 to five organizations in the region that are working to address social determinants of health. Traditionally, NVHF has centered its grantmaking on organizations providing health care and other health services to low-income and uninsured residents. (NVHF, 11/19)

COMMUNITY | The Lever Fund has announced the hiring of their first executive director, Gregory M. Cork, along with their inaugural board of directors.

DISTRICT/EQUITY
– According to a Washington Post poll of D.C. residents, there is a strong racial divide in the attitudes Washingtonians have about redevelopment in the city and who benefits from it. The number of African American residents who were polled about whether or not they see redevelopment as negative for “people like them” has grown a great deal over the last several years. (WaPo, 11/20)

– The Urban Institute takes a moment to ponder what a more equitable D.C. might look like. (Urban Institute, 11/19)

EDUCATION/WORKFORCE | A report from the Washington Area Boards of Education finds disparities in the salaries of teachers in the region from district to district. The report highlights the challenges facing some districts in hiring and retaining talent. (WaPo, 11/22)


Have you read any of these picks for the best books of 2015?

-Ciara

 

Troubling projections for severely cost-burdened renters over the next 10 years

AFFORDABLE HOUSING 
New research from Enterprise Community Partners and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies looks at the trends on the horizon for severely cost-burdened renters. Low vacancy rates and stagnant wages are projected to make the rental market even less affordable as more Americans opt out of homeownership. (Atlantic, 9/21)

The researchers estimate that the current rental crunch—the one where vacancies are around 7 percent, about half of renters spend more than 30 percent of their salaries on housing, and one quarter spend 50 percent or more—is only going to get worse over the next decade. Even if housing prices and income rise as quickly as inflation (about 2 percent annually) the number of severely rent-burdened Americans (those paying 50 percent or more) would increase by 11 percent over the decade, to over 13 million people in 2025.

The full white paper, Projecting Trends in Severely Cost-Burdened Renters: 2015-2025, can be found here.

– In her latest blog post, WRAG president Tamara Copeland examines how homeownership, once the American dream that promised greater financial stability, is no longer accessible to many in the Greater Washington region. (Daily, 9/22)

– David Bowers, vice president and Mid-Atlantic market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, goes further to address the Washington region’s need for a major response to the affordable housing crunch affecting homeowners and renters at various income levels. (GGW, 9/21)

PHILANTHROPY | On the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s blog, Maggie Osborn – head of WRAG’s colleague organization, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, asks, “What does the music of philanthropy sound like?” (CEP, 9/22)

AGING/HEALTH | Opinion: While the nation’s fastest-growing age group is over 65-years-old, the number of geriatricians in practice continues to dwindle. Some are warning of an impending crisis if the problem is not addressed. (NYT, 9/22)

WORKFORCE
– Va.’s August unemployment rate sees decrease (Loudoun Times, 9/18)

– We often hear about a skills shortage in today’s workforce in the news, but when it comes to finding a root cause, it’s often a blame game. (Atlantic, 9/22)


According to recent research, we’re all walking around in a little cloud of “personal dust” á la Pigpen.

– Ciara

Meeting unmet needs for a better healthcare system

HEALTH
Over on the Consumer Health Foundation blog, Dr. Rajiv Bhatia discusses how data on the unmet needs (food, employment, housing and transportation) of patients could help the health care system further calculate risk factors in order to provide a more comprehensive experience that would include connecting people with the proper community resources. (CHF, 4/1)

According to a recent national survey, 85% of primary care doctors say that unmet needs for food, housing, employment, and transportation contribute to poor health for their patients. These doctors recognize that they lack the time, tools, and resources to support all of their patients’ health needs and want health care systems to do more. Sadly, few health care systems measure unmet needs as risk factors in the populations they serve or take steps to address these needs.

Quality health care matters a great deal when we are sick, but protecting and maintaining our health requires a foundation of basic human needs. Insecure work, the lack of nutritious food, and unstable shelter are increasingly common experiences in our society that result in high costs for health and healthcare.

PHILANTHROPY | More and more grantmakers are committing to “get on the map!” Foundation president/CEO and chair of WRAG’s board of directors, Patricia Mathews, shares why the Northern Virginia Health Foundation is excited about the interactive mapping tool and sharing their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 4/6)

HOMELESSNESS
Opinion: As the District’s homelessness crisis persists, David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners offers his thoughts on how the city must use a broader approach to tackle the problem and bring about lasting change. (WaPo, 4/3)

– According to a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, federal funding for programs to end homelessness in the U.S. is at its highest level ever. The study also found significant declines in homelessness nationally among sub-populations over the past few years. (HuffPo, 4/3)

The unprecedented funding is “probably in part” to credit for a decline in net homelessness: 578,424 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2014 — down 2.3 percent from the year before.

What’s more, improvements were tracked within every major sub-population, such as the chronically homeless, families and unsheltered persons. Veteran homelessness, for example, has dropped 33 percent in the past five years.

YOUTH/DISTRICT | In this special film, DC Teens: Progress & Promise, made by Stone Soup Films for the Summit Fund of Washington, District teens and leaders working to lower rates of teen pregnancy speak on what is being done to create a better future for young people in the city and why that work is so vital. Check out the video here.

Related: Dr. Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, who makes an appearance in the film above, will be the featured speaker of our first Brightest Minds event of the year. On April 30, she will explore the growing trend of unwed and unplanned motherhood, its impact on child poverty and wellness, and how the social sector can effectively support efforts for change. This event is open to both WRAG members and nonmembers. More details here.

NONPROFITS
– On April 15, United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) is offering a free training to support any area nonprofit that will participate in the Do More 24 Day of Giving to be held this year on June 4. Nonprofits interested in participating do not need to be members of UWNCA, but must serve the D.C. metro area. Click here to learn more and to register by April 13.

Opinion: Simple Steps to Promote Diversity at Nonprofits (Chronicle, 4/3)

WORKFORCE
– McAuliffe ‘bans the box’ on state job applications (WaPo, 4/4)


Who’s ready for some baseball?! Take this quiz to see how much you know about the sport.

– Ciara

 

Corporate grantmakers gather to learn about local needs and opportunities for investment

By Shira Broms
Philanthropy Fellow
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Often, when we think of corporate philanthropy, we tend to think BIG dollars. And, while many companies invest significantly in their communities, they often do so with very small (but mighty!) teams.  Unlike some larger private and independent foundations, corporate giving programs often do not have issue-specific program officers. Instead, corporate philanthropy professionals tend to be savvy generalists with a strong background in business, a knack for building strategic long-term partnerships, and the ability to stay on top of emerging trends to ensure their companies are doing the most good for the communities they serve.

Last week, WRAG hosted our first Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group of the year to assist companies with staying up-to-date on the needs and trends in our region. Six issue area experts provided an overview of some of the top giving priorities in the DMV and offered a few key investment opportunities that companies might consider. Here are the highlights from each of our panelists:

(Click the image below)

Friday roundup – March 9 through March 13, 2015

THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION
New plans for D.C. Public Schools under their new budget were announced this week. While a number of cuts will be made at the central office, four new schools will be opened, and additional programming is expected to be introduced to students. (WaPo, 3/12)

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Thursday that after years of school closures, D.C. Public Schools plans to open four next year and will hire 200 new school-based staff members. Many of the new employees will work in the city’s comprehensive high schools, offering a more expansive and consistent range of extracurricular activities and advanced courses citywide.

The budget aims to improve equity as school leaders push to persuade more families to choose neighborhood schools. City public school enrollment continues to grow overall, but many families have been choosing public charters or schools across town through a citywide lottery.

The system is projecting a fourth straight year of increased enrollment, with more than 1,500 new students next year, putting enrollment at more than 49,000.

– A Schott Foundation for Public Education report showed that Montgomery County leads the country’s large urban school districts in graduation rates for black male students. In 2012, three out of every four black male students in the district had earned a high school diploma. (Gazette, 3/4)

THIS WEEK IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
– David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners was a guest on the WPFW’s Business Matters show and spoke on the housing affordability crisis affecting the city. Audio from the interview is available here. (WPFW, 3/9 [at the 4:30 minute mark])

– County planners in Arlington look ahead to the year 2020 – when market-rate affordable housing could become a thing of the past. The Board is working on an Affordable Housing Master Plan that could be adopted in July. (ARLnow, 3/10)

Median rental price for a one-bedroom D.C. apartment is $2,000, study says (WaPo, 3/12)

THIS WEEK IN FOOD 
– WRAG’s Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith shared her takeaways from the recent National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, and discussed the importance of protecting federal nutrition programs. (Daily, 3/10)

– Wage stagnation and unemployment, combined with rising rents and food costs, gave way to a sharp rise in requests for food assistance in the region last year. Many are finding that putting fresh, nutritious food on the table is still no easy task. (WaPo, 3/10)

Why Some Schools Serve Local Food And Others Can’t (Or Won’t) (NPR, 3/11)

THIS WEEK IN IMMIGRATION
Opinion: Why pro-immigration states are fighting back (WaPo, 3/12)

– NPR interviewed a local teen who fled violence in Central America. (NPR, 3/9)

Related: On Tuesday, March 31 at 9:00 AM, WRAG members and invited guests can attend a funder briefing on Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region. The special event, sponsored by a number of WRAG members, will be moderated by Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and  includes remarks by Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; a panel with Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA; DJ Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Services & Education Consortium; and Maya, immigrant leader and potential beneficiary.


WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
How Philanthropic Leadership Changed The Equation for Returning Veterans in San Diego (WRAG members)
Wednesday, March 18, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Institute for CSR: Session 2: Investing in Communities (Institute for CSR Class of 2015)
Thursday, March 19, 2015  9:00 AM – Friday, March 20, 2015  5:00 PM

The Anacostia River: A Challenge and Opportunity for Philanthropy (WRAG members and other invited funders)
Thursday, March 19, 2015 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM


America is so young, it only takes four presidents to trace back to the Founding Fathers.

– Ciara

A year later, seeking a solution to growing homelessness in the District

HOMELESSNESS
A year after the disappearance of Relisha Rudd from the shelter at the former D.C. General Hospital uncovered a number of problems at the facility, the city is finding that the continuing growth of homeless families in the area has no simple solution. (WaPo, 3/8)

More recently, city officials have said some changes have been made at D.C. General, such as additional case managers, extra police patrols, a new playground and improved building maintenance.

In addition, some are concerned that the city is creating a new D.C. General as it deals with a surge in homelessness this winter by sheltering several hundred families at hotels on a run-down strip of New York Avenue in Northeast Washington with little support or oversight. Another Relisha [Rudd], they say, could easily fall through the cracks.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners spoke on the WPFW’s Business Matters show this morning on the housing affordability crisis affecting the city. You can listen to the audio from the interview here. (WPFW, 3/9 [at the 4:30 minute mark])

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Although construction is behind schedule, supporters remain optimistic about the forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture that will be the Smithsonian Institution’s 19th museum. (WaPo, 3/6)

Related: In 2013, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, spoke to our community about the enduring relevance of history to social change efforts today. (Daily, October, 2013)

Related: WRAG president Tamara Copeland also recently touched on the importance of understanding black history to move toward social justice in today’s society. (Daily, 2/2)

PHILANTHROPY | In a newly-released report on the compensation and demographics of foundation staff, the Council on Foundations found that salary increases for program officers and chief executives slightly outpaced inflation since the recession. The study also found that, with more than 40 percent of foundation employees over the age of 50, significant changes in leadership may soon be on the horizon. (Chronicle, 3/5)

TRANSIT | Transportation chief asks if troubled District streetcar system can be saved (WaPo, 3/8)

EDUCATION
– Montgomery County leads the country’s large urban school districts in graduation rates for black male students. According to reports, in 2012 three out of every four black male students in the district had earned a high school diploma. (Gazette, 3/4)

– A new report finds that more than half of the District’s high school students were considered chronically truant during the 2013-2014 academic year. A student must accumulate 10 or more unexcused absences in order to be found chronically truant. (WaPo, 3/9)

Opinion: Don’t trust complaints that schools are too rigorous for low-income students (WaPo, 3/8)

DISTRICT | D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser discusses her plans and goals for expanding and supporting the District’s middle-class residents amid a rising wealth gap. (WBJ, 3/5)

WORKFORCE | What 27 Weeks of Unemployment Does to the American Worker (Atlantic, 3/6)


Hopefully, the brutal winter weather is long gone….but, while it’s still fresh in our memories, this must be addressed! Where do you stand?

– Ciara