Another Big Bank Funder into Affordable Housing, This Time in New York City

Good news: more funders are finally paying attention to affordable housing these days – including some unlikely suspects, such as casinos and health foundations. However, bank funders and affordable housing have gone hand-in-hand for a long time, and this source of support shows no signs of slowing down.

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Today’s bank funding story brings us to New York City, where the affordable housing crisis is on the forefront of so many funders’ minds. The Santander Bank, N.A. Charitable Contributions Program just gave a $200,000 grant to the New York office of Enterprise Community Partners, which is a national affordable housing nonprofit. The grant will be used, in part, to fund the creation of Enterprise Homes Plus, which is the neighborhood support system for seniors, formerly homeless individuals, and low-income residents in New York.

“Thanks to Santander’s support, Enterprise will continue to have an impact in neighborhoods and on vulnerable populations through innovative programs like Asset Management University, our Senior Initiative and more,” said Judi Kende, Enterprise’s vice president and New York market leader.

But this isn’t the first time that Santander has connected with Enterprise on the issue of affordable housing. In 2015, the group received Santander grant money that initiated two programs. One of these was a training program to help New York affordable housing owners improve the performance of their housing portfolios, while the other program was designed to help landlords get resources to upgrade and preserve their small multi-family buildings.

Part of Santanders’ new money will go towards ongoing support of these programs. Otherwise, the money will be going to support a health and housing initiative, because as we’ve pointed out, funders are slowly realizing that two issues are tragically interconnected. Support for seniors and the homeless are also essential to Santander’s affordable housing support.

But it should be noted while New York City groups do often see Santander’s support, it’s not the only region of interest. In addition to Metro New York, it also supports nearby groups in Northern New Jersey, the Mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania, Central and Southern New Jersey, Maryland, and New Castle County, Delaware), and New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island).

Not only does this bank funder supply grants, but it also specializes in assisting nonprofits with financial education, technical assistance, serving on boards, and organizational development. In true “bank funder fashion,” the other two area of focus are financial education and economic development/neighborhood revitalization. The next Santander deadline to mark on your calendar is September 16, which is when the fall applications are due. These grants will be announced in mid-November.