AAFE will receive $250,000 in Citi Foundation funding to increase economic progress in Flushing, Queens as part of the Partners in Progress (PIP) initiative launched on Tuesday, December 3 in New York City.  The initiative, backed by the Citi Foundation and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), aims to advance the “quarterback” model of community development by building the capacity of trusted organizations that align objectives, resources, and efforts among local stakeholders to create strong, resilient neighborhoods and paths to economic opportunity.

The PIP grant will help AAFE bring together its efforts in Flushing into a single coordinated project and launch the One Flushing Renaissance Initiative, a broad community revitalization effort aimed at growing Flushing’s local economy, creating and preserving affordable housing, and offering tailored immigrant services.  Under this initiative, AAFE will establish a collaborative among local stakeholders to identify community needs and create an integrated community plan for the neighborhood.  As a quarterback, AAFE will guide the collaborative to establish concrete common goals, develop a shared agenda for collaboration, and develop a comprehensive needs assessment and planning process.  In addition, AAFE is developing a new “opportunity center” in Flushing to serve as a one-stop shop for services for residents and business owners, a local home base for community organizations and government agencies serving the neighborhood and an incubator that encourages community-based organizations to develop coordinated, integrated programs, and services.

“Asian Americans for Equality would like to thank the Low Income Investment Fund and the Citi Foundation for their dedication to developing communities across the country,” said AAFE Executive Director Christopher Kui who was in New York City to receive the award and participate in kickoff events with the Citi Foundation and LIIF leadership.  He added, “Using this ‘quarterback’ model, AAFE will improve housing, health, educational, and economic outcomes for the residents of Flushing.”

Through PIP, AAFE and the other grantees will be able to initiate or deepen their efforts to become community quarterbacks.  In this role, they will lead the development or expansion of local stakeholder networks to improve places—the physical environment of a community including housing, transit, and safety— and create opportunities for people—such as jobs, child development, education, and health. PIP funding will enable grantees to engage and align an expanded range of partners, share knowledge, and use data to drive project design.  In addition, grantees will participate in a learning community that will include coaching and skill building.

“Recognizing that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to improving economic opportunity, we know the quarterback model works to align smart approaches with smart financing,” said Nancy O. Andrews, President and CEO of LIIF.

“The Partners in Progress initiative is focused on identifying and supporting organizations that have the credibility and potential to be local community development champions,” said Pamela Flaherty, President & CEO of the Citi Foundation.

The impetus behind the PIP initiative came from Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, a book LIIF co-published in 2012 with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which asserts that flexible and dynamic community quarterbacks could transform local community development efforts that are often fragmented and duplicative.  The Citi Foundation supported LIIF’s work on the original book, and the PIP initiative now aims to advance the community quarterback model in across the nation.

To learn more about the PIP program, visit www.partnersinprogressproject.org.

Follow PIP on Twitter, @PIPCommunities, and like the PIP Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/partnersinprogressproject.

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living.  Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving to priority focus areas: Microfinance, Enterprise Development, College Success, and Financial Capability and Asset Building. In the United States, the Citi Foundation also supports Neighborhood Revitalization programs.  The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance, Enterprise Development, and Neighborhood Revitalization to support environmental programs and innovations.  Additional information can be found at http://www.citifoundation.com.

About the Low Income Investment Fund

The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) invests capital to support healthy families and communities.  Since 1984, LIIF has served 1.5 million people by investing $1.4 billion.  Over its history, LIIF has provided financing and technical assistance to create and preserve affordable housing, child care centers, schools, healthy food retail, health clinics and transit-oriented developments in distressed neighborhoods nationwide.  LIIF’s work has generated $26 billion in family income and societal benefits.  LIIF has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. For more information about LIIF, visit http://www.liifund.org.