Netflix commits $25 million to housing racial equity initiative

Netflix commits $25 million to housing racial equity initiative

Enterprise Community Partners has announced a $25 million commitment from Netflix in support of a five-year, $3.5 billion initiative to address the legacy of racism in housing and boost access to capital for housing providers of color.

With the aim of leveraging an additional $3.1 billion of capital, the Equitable Path Forward initiative will establish a $350 million Growth Fund seeded with $10 million of ECP's own capital that provides debt, equity, grants, and innovative credit enhancements in support of historically marginalized housing providers in diverse communities. Elements of the initiative include a $15 million effort to provide comprehensive consulting, networking facilitation, business services, and evaluation support for local development organizations and small businesses and a two-year, $10 million leadership program aimed at diversifying leadership in the real estate industry.

According to ECP, decades of systemic racism in housing — from redlining and race-based federal mortgage programs, to restrictive deed covenants, to predatory lending and discriminatory property tax collection practices — have led to widespread residential segregation, home ownership rates that are nearly twice as high for white Americans as for Black Americans, and a widening wealth gap between white and Black households. The organization also notes that only 2 percent of real estate development companies are Black-led, while only 16 percent of community development corporations are minority-led and just 1.5 percent of real estate assets under management are controlled by minority-owned firms.

"Our vision is nothing short of dismantling the legacy of racism in housing," said Enterprise Community Partners president and CEO Priscilla Almodovar. "By investing in these housing providers who are on the ground and engaged with their communities, Equitable Path Forward will lead to a new and needed level of responsiveness, investment, and equity in the communities that get built."

"Black and other historically marginalized leaders have been fighting to better their communities for decades but have lacked the capital to do so. That's why Netflix is investing $25 million in Enterprise's initiative," said Netflix treasury director Shannon Alwyn. "We invite more companies to join the movement and support visionary initiatives like Equitable Path Forward."

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