Tag: Enterprise

Assessing a $15 minimum wage

WORKFORCE
A new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute explores what a $15 minimum wage could mean to workers in the District. A number of local groups remain divided over the long-term impact of raising the minimum wage (WAMU, 5/4):

The organization’s assessment buttresses the arguments made by groups and elected officials pushing the $15 minimum wage: In an area that’s growing increasingly expensive and unequal, giving low-wage workers a pay raise is a needed step towards helping them stay afloat.

But it also marks the start of what is likely to be a spirited debate over the merits of raising the minimum wage, with local business groups standing at the ready to unveil their own studies arguing that while a higher wage may help workers get by, it will also mean that employers either create fewer jobs or [move] to jurisdictions — like Virginia — where the minimum wage remains much lower, at $7.25.

JOBS | WRAG is pleased to announced the launch of our new and improved job board! This service is available to the region’s philanthropic and nonprofit community. Job postings are free for WRAG members and $60 for non-members. As a benefit for using WRAG’s job board, each posting will be included in a weekly roundup of job opportunities right here in the Daily WRAG. For any questions about using the job board, contact Rebekah Seder, seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.

HOUSING/REGION
– In their Matters@Hand thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND looks at some of the emerging innovations surrounding the creation of local funding resources for affordable housing in the region, including one that WRAG is involved in (Helping Hands Blog, 5/4):

In our region, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers has teamed up with Enterprise Community Partners to develop a new approach to generating resources to invest in local affordable housing.  Individuals and organizations can invest in the Enterprise Community Impact Note and those investments will be used to help finance the creation of affordable housing. Investors will receive a fixed-rate of return and will also receive regular statements about the social impact of their investments.  The goal of the new fund is to raise at least $5 million to help build affordable housing throughout the region, and will reflect a truly innovative way of raising capital.

Washington City Paper offers a glimpse into D.C.’s low-rent units, where many tenants live in constant fear of losing their homes and must deal with unresponsive landlords who neglect properties. (WCP, 4/29)

– D.C. At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds has introduced a bill aimed at landlords who “purposely neglect their buildings and put their tenants’ health and safety at risk.” (WCP, 5/3)

– Local Initiatives Support Corporation has made a $50 million commitment toward ensuring that residents living in the area surrounding the highly-anticipated 11th Street Bridge Park will not be displaced once it opens. (WaPo, 5/3)

PHILANTHROPY
–  Opinion5 Issues Foundations Must Confront to Stay Relevant (Chronicle, 5/3)

– Close Up Shop and Go Elsewhere? A Case Study for Philanthropy on What to Do When We Win (NPQ, 4/29)

ARTS/VIRGINIA
– The Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) plans to display bike rack designs as public works of art later this year. IPAR issued a call for artists from the region to submit their designs that reflect five sites in the surrounding area. (Reston Now, 5/2)


Anyone know the number to a really fancy plumber?

– 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

Examining the Washington region’s global competitiveness

ECONOMY/REGION
The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase have teamed up on the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets. Their newly-released report on the Greater Washington region finds areas where the region must improve in order to reach its full potential and bring about greater economic growth. (WBJ, 11/5)

The overall report paints a not-so-subtle picture of a Greater Washington with far more potential if only local leaders could work together to improve the D.C. area’s profile.

“Leaders in many other U.S. regions that face similar economic headwinds are taking active steps to understand and enhance their competitive position and connections in a growing global economy,” the report said.

– A new report from the Urban Land Institute Washington looks at the trends among millennials in the region through an in-depth survey on the housing and transportation habits of those living inside and near the beltway. (Bisnow, 11/4)

HOUSING | In their Matters@Hand thought-leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND explores the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, requiring cities, counties and other entities receiving HUD funding to use local data to better identify potential fair housing issues and develop solutions for the communities they serve. (Helping Hands Blog, 11/5)

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis highlights the demographics behind the recently-released results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams taken by D.C. students. (District Measured, 11/5)

TRANSPORTATION
– Areas east of the Anacostia River have long been void of adequate taxi service. With the emergence of ride hailing services, however, more and more residents are connected to transportation and officials hope to further expand transit options. (WAMU, 11/4)

More Washington workers will get commuter benefits (WaPo, 11/4)

HEALTH | In Reversal, Death Rates Rise for Middle-Aged Whites (NPR, 11/2)

YOUTH/SOCIAL PROFITS | Raise DC announced the recipients of their DC Data Spotlight Awards, recognizing social profit and local education agencies’ use of data in helping District youth succeed. Ten winners were chosen to receive a $10,000 award. For more information about the award and to check out the winners, click here.


The next time someone asks why you haven’t replied to their email, let them know it’s simply because you’re being productive.

– Ciara

Wage inequality in U.S. metros

The Daily WRAG will return on Tuesday, October 13. 

ECONOMY/REGION
While wage inequality is nothing new, the problem has become a staple of many major cities across the country. In some U.S. metros with high wage inequality – like the metropolitan Washington region – there are a number of implications for those who do not earn high salaries. (City Lab, 10/7)

[…] wage inequality appears to be bound up with higher housing costs, being closely correlated with the share of income devoted to housing […]. The higher wage earners in knowledge-based metros essentially bid up the cost of housing. And while knowledge workers and the creative class make enough to cope with the increased costs, as my own research has shown, this hits extremely hard at workers in lower paid service and blue-collar jobs who increasingly cannot afford to live in these places.

WRAG COMMUNITY/PHILANTHROPY
– Congratulations to WRAG members Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area, and Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the Meyer Foundation, for being featured in The Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 list in the category of Heavy Hitters, defined as “[…] those executives who lead the most powerful organizations in town, be it for their size, their reputations or the sheer dollars they generate.” (WBJ, 10/5)

– Congratulations are also in order for WRAG members IBM and Citi Foundation for taking home awards in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Awards in the areas of Best Corporate Steward – Large Business, and Best Community Improvement Program.

HOUSING | Enterprise takes a look at housing affordability for the millennial workforce on the heels of some newly released research on the topic. (Enterprise, 10/6)

TRANSPORTATION/DISTRICT | Bikeshare services are a convenience enjoyed by many in D.C. who seek alternative ways to get around, but they are often only available in more affluent parts of the city and to those with credit cards. In an effort to better reach minority and low-income residents, the District has unveiled potential plans to expand bikeshare stations across D.C. and eliminate barriers to payment to use the services. (WaPo, 10/6)

ENVIRONMENT/PUBLIC HEALTH | MoCo becomes first major locality to ban cosmetic pesticides from lawns (WaPo, 10/6)


Are you a native to the region? Here’s some nostalgia for you in the form of local TV ads.

– Ciara

Friday roundup – September 28 through October 2, 2015

THIS WEEK AT WRAG
– WRAG president Tamara Copeland presented her third quarter report to the community where she discussed how WRAG is working to address some of the most entrenched issues in our region. (Daily, 9/30)

THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION/YOUTH
– D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie proposed an unconventional approach to curbing violence in the city – offering job training, mentoring and cash stipends to at-risk youth. (WAMU, 9/29)

–  Why wealthy Loudoun County does not have universal full-day kindergarten (WaPo, 9/29)

THIS WEEK IN THE ARTS/HUMANITIES
 D.C.’s secret export: theater (WaPo, 9/24)

– This week, the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s signing of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965, which created both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. (WAMU, 9/28)

THIS WEEK IN HOUSING 
In their Matters@Hand thought-leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND explored some of the most innovative affordable housing policies from around the country. (Helping Hands Blog, 6/1)


Community Calendar
WRAG will be testing out a new feature on the blog each Friday  – the WRAG Community Calendar. Tell us about your upcoming event, and we will share it through the calendar below. To have your event included on the calendar, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link to further details to: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.


Can you recognize these cities based solely on their aerial views? 

– Ciara

Retail sector employment rises, wages do not follow

WORKFORCE
The retail sector in D.C. has seen significant employment and sales growth over the last few years, but wages have remained stagnant. The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis takes a look at the numbers and explores the reasons behind the slow growth that affects a number of workers in the District. (District, Measured, 9/30)

Despite the growth in the retail sector sales and employment, total payroll at retail establishments remained stagnant and earnings per employee, after adjusting for inflation, do not appear to have increased. In 1997, a retail worker in the District took home what would have been the equivalent of $25,642 today. In 2012, earnings were up by only about $1,000 compared to 1998, but down from earnings from 2007, which stood at $28,913.

Opinion: An instructor and restaurant server shares why she thinks people should stop applying labels like “low-skilled” when referring to task-oriented workers, and explains how perceptions can work to keep some people in poverty. (NYT, 10/1)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | In their continuing Matters@Hand thought-leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND explores innovative affordable housing policies from around the country. (Helping Hands Blog, 6/1)

EDUCATION
– DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson launched an initiative to expand AP classes in high schools across the city and increase course offerings available to low-income and minority students, but the failure rate has grown rapidly for students trying to pass the college-level courses. (GGW, 9/29)

– High schools across D.C. and Virginia saw rising graduation rates in 2015, consistent with nationwide trends. (WaPo, 9/29)

The Data Are Damning: How Race Influences School Funding (Atlantic, 9/30)

ARTS | If you’ve seen some pretty inspiring garbage trucks making their way through the District lately, thank the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities  in partnership with the Department of Public Works for hosting a competition featuring the original designs of local artists. (WaPo, 9/30)

IMMIGRATION | For Immigrants, the ‘Melting Pot’ Is a Mixed Bag (City Lab, 9/30)


Hopefully, you never find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to call the police. But in the event that you do, please make sure it is not for this reason

– 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

More affordable housing for Arlington County

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/VIRGINIA
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board unanimously voted to move forward on a plan to bring more affordable housing to the area. The plan will bring about 15,800 affordable apartments to the county by 2040. (WaPo, 9/19)

Related: A recent report supported by Enterprise Community Partners and Citi Foundation, and presented by the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group – a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector leaders concerned about housing affordability convened by WRAG – highlights the need for collaboration to invest in solving the region’s affordable housing crisis.

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | WRAG is excited to introduce you to the 2015-16 Philanthropy Fellows, a group of young professionals poised to make waves in the world of philanthropy. (Daily, 9/21)

DISTRICT/ECONOMY | D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute explores what new income and poverty data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal about communities of color in the District. (DCFPI, 9/18)

HEALTH/FOOD
– A new interactive map examines the rate of obesity in D.C. neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in the northeast and southern parts of the city saw higher obesity rates due to lower levels of income and walkability in those areas. (DCInno, 9/18)

– New data from the Centers for Disease Control show that the narrative surrounding what we think we know about low-income families and their relationship to fast food may be all wrong. (WaPo, 918)

PHILANTHROPY | Rural Foundations’ Ideas for Increasing Rural Philanthropy (NPQ, 9/14)

WORKFORCE | The Typical Male U.S. Worker Earned Less Money in 2014 Than in 1973 (WSJ, 9/18)

SOCIAL PROFITS | The time is now for social profit organizations to ramp up security on online donation pages, as credit card thieves have taken to the websites to test stolen credit card numbers, creating unnecessary financial burdens for many organizations. (Chronicle, 9/17)


From now until September 25, WTOP is taking votes to give away $30,000 to local charities. All you have to do is click the “Like” button! 

– Ciara

New reports on the critical need for affordable housing in the Greater Washington Region

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/REGION
In response to alarming data surrounding housing affordability in the region, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG) presents a new report by Nonprofit Quarterly columnist Rick Cohen. The report – supported by Enterprise Community Partners, Citi Foundation, and WRAG – highlights the need for collaboration to invest in solving the region’s affordable housing crisis. Click here to access the full report, Call the Question: Will the Greater Washington Region Collaborate and Invest to Solve its Affordable Housing Shortage? 

Since June 2014, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group – a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector leaders concerned about housing affordability – has been meeting to examine: 1) the nature of the affordable housing shortage in the greater Washington area; 2) the relationship of housing affordability to economic growth; and 3) strategies to increase affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households in the region.

In July 2014, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region released new research, Housing Security in the Washington Region, prepared by the Urban Institute and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments based on 2011 data, the most recent available. A key finding of the study concludes that, currently, 250,000 households (including 147,000 renter households) making less than 80 percent of the area median income are paying more than half of their gross income on housing costs.

The full extent of the affordable housing shortage required an analysis of future economic growth and accompanying populations. Research from the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) shows that future growth industries for our region will be in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, and construction sectors – jobs which pay lower wages. Thousands of critical jobs in today’s workforce also fall in the lowerto moderate-income range, including teachers, health care professionals, entry level office workers, and local government employees. In 2015, CRA developed affordable housing need projections based on their latest regional economic outlook projections showing a need for the region to provide 149,000 new low-income housing units between 2011 and 2023 to accommodate projected job growth in the region.

 

– Another newly-released report (mentioned above) by Jeannette Chapman of the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis – commissioned by Enterprise Community Partners, and supported by GWHLG – focuses on regional solutions for Greater Washington’s affordable housing needs by the year 2023. The report titled, The Greater Washington Region’s Future Housing Needs: 2023, can be found here.

– The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) has released a public service announcement campaign to raise awareness about the great need for affordable housing using statistics about the average take-home pay for the professionals who are often very important in our daily lives. Have you seen this PSA around yet?

What’s ‘new’ in affordable housing? Not a lot — yet (Elevation DC, 6/19)

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | After a recent independent evaluation on the state of D.C. schools by the National Research Council, education leaders agree that although the system has come a long way, it still needs a lot of work to get to where it needs to be. (WaPo, 6/22)

POVERTY | A quarter of Americans are one emergency away from financial ruin (WaPo, 6/23)


How’s this for a real Metro map? What do you think?

– Ciara

Affordable housing crisis in every county in America

HOUSING
A new report from the Urban Institute finds that the amount of extremely low-income households has grown nationwide since 2000, while federal housing-assistance programs have not kept up with the need. In fact, according to the study, there is no county within the United States that currently has enough affordable housing for families in extreme poverty. (City Lab, 6/18)

New research from the Urban Institute shows that the supply of housing for extremely low-income families, which was already in short supply, is only declining. In 2013, just 28 of every 100 extremely low-income families could afford their rental homes. [That] figure is down from 37 of 100 in 2000 – a 25 percent decline over a little more than a decade.

Using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, researchers built an interactive map to illustrate the nationwide reach of the problem. In no county in the U.S. does the supply of affordable housing meet the demand among extremely low-income households. (Families who made no more than 30 percent of an area’s median household income were considered “extremely low income.”)

You can find the interactive map from the Urban Institute here.

– Tomorrow morning, at the 2015 Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) Annual Meeting, The Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG) will host a plenary session entitled Regional Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing Development and Preservation in the Greater Washington Area. GWHLG is comprised of nonprofit, public, philanthropic, and business leaders, and is convened by WRAG. You can follow the conversation tomorrow on Twitter using the hashtag #HANDAM2015. The event will also coincide with the release of a new report on how to collaborate and invest to solve the region’s affordable housing shortage by Rick Cohen, sponsored by Enterprise, Citi Foundation, and WRAG.

FINANCE/FOUNDATIONS | WRAG’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Katy Moore, discusses the two surprising things all foundation staff should know when it comes to excise tax rules – the topic of last week’s Foundation Finance Affinity Group meeting. (Daily, 6/22)

COMMUNITY
– Congratulations to WRAG members Capital One (#1) and MedImmune (#20) for being named top places to work in the DC region by The Washington Post!  (WaPo, 6/19)

– On July 23 at 8:00 am, the United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) will hold their 2015 Annual Community Meeting and Nonprofit Expo at Catholic University of America. Anyone interested in learning about UWNCA, the nonprofit sector, or opportunities to learn and share with community networks should register here.

PHILANTHROPY | New Blog Examines Today’s Philanthropy by Comparing It With The Past (Chronicle, 6/19)

ARTS 
– D.C. has four new public art pieces to check out around the city. (WCP, 6/19)

Working Smarter – not Harder – when Advocating for the Arts (Artsblog, 6/18)

REGION | Higher Unemployment in Virginia (WBJ, 6/19)


The time a cat won an award for being a “Hero Dog.”

– Ciara