Video streaming giant Netflix wants to help put a stop to what it calls systematic racism in the U.S. housing industry. It has stepped in with a $25 million grant to a wider national effort that aims to combat discrimination in housing.
The funds are being made available to Enterprise Community Partners, which is a nonprofit group that has been building and financing affordable housing for the past four decades. Netflix said it’s donating the $25 million to the group’s Equitable Path Forward program, which is an initiative that aims to stop practices that have caused a growing racial wealth gap in housing in the U.S.
Enterprise Community Partners notes that homeownership rates for white Americans are almost twice as high as they are for Blacks, and that the median net worth of whites is almost eight times that of the average Black household.
“Our vision is nothing short of dismantling the legacy of racism in housing,” Priscilla Almodovar, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, told Real Estate Weekly. “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.”
Enterprise Community Partners said it’s targeting the type of the homes it builds and the location they’re built in, and will also try to create career opportunities that will diversify leadership in real estate. To that end, it will provide debt, equity and grants and come up with innovative credit enhancements to generate more capital to fulfill its mission.
“Blacks and other historically marginalized leaders have been fighting to better their communities for decades but have lacked the capital to do so,” said Shannon Alwyn, Netflix’s Treasury director. “That’s why Netflix is investing $25 million in Enterprise’s initiative.”
Enterprise Community Partners is aiming to raise $350 million over a five-year period, it said.