AAFE is one of 10 nonprofit organizations in New York State to receive recognition and crucial support through the Call for Ideas Program, a project of Enterprise Community Partners.

Enterprise is providing $2.9 million in grants to help actualize innovative ideas for creating fair, equitable and healthy housing in communities impacted by historic and systemic racism.  Through the Call for Ideas Program, AAFE is leading a pandemic-resilient housing prototype replicable for new and existing affordable housing. This innovation addresses the health impacts faced by low-income minority families who are frequently forced to crowd into unsafe dwelling units with no ability to social distance.

“From equipping local real estate developers of color with training and mentorship to improving health outcomes through housing improvements, New York State nonprofits are working diligently and creatively to fill community gaps caused by decades of systemic racism and discrimination,” said Elizabeth Zeldin, Senior Program Director, Neighborhood Impact, New York, at Enterprise Community Partners. “Funding these organizations to develop their own unique and locally grounded innovations is vital to the strength and resilience of New York’s communities, and it’s a privilege for Enterprise to be able to support these diverse ideas and learn alongside our partner organizations.”

“The pandemic laid bare a reality widely understood in our community but overlooked in affordable housing development: many low-income residents in New York City have no choice but to crowd into unsafe apartments and illegal accessory dwelling units with extended family and other tenants,” said Thomas Yu, co-executive director of AAFE. “During Covid-19, their lives were put at greater risk because they had no ability to social distance. This innovation will enable AAFE and our design partners to develop a model for flexible apartments that can grow or contract as family size changes. With Enterprise’s generous support, we are excited about the prospect of creating life-saving pandemic resilient housing.”

You can read more about the Call for Ideas Program here.