A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Co-sponsored webinar: A Place to Call Home: Housing Policy Roundtable

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 | 12:00 ET / 11:00 CT / 10:00 MT / 9:00 PT

Presented by Shelterforce, Funders Together to End Homelessness, and Neighborhood Funders Group

A vital discussion of how the Housing Policy Playbook & the BREATHE Act can inform federal housing policy and what the Biden-Harris administration & philanthropy can do in the short and long term to reinvigorate housing justice.

Earlier this year, the Housing Playbook Project released the New Deal for Housing Justice — a set of policy recommendations to help solve the U.S. housing crisis, which has been made worse by the pandemic. Designed by those who’ve experienced housing insecurity or homelessness, grassroots housing leaders, and policy experts, the New Deal for Housing Justice lays out a set of critical actions in the first 200 days of the new administration and Congress.

The BREATHE Act, a project of the Movement for Black Lives’ 501(c)4 Electoral Justice Project, offers a radical reimagining of public safety and community care. The bill advocates for divesting federal resources from incarceration and policing to invest in new, non-punitive, non-carceral approaches to community safety shrinks state criminal-legal systems and center the protection of Black lives. This includes allocating new money to build healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities — as well as holding political leaders to their promises and enhance the self-determination of all Black communities.

Grassroots leaders and advocates call on Congress, the Biden-Harris administration, and philanthropy to:

  • Deliver a COVID-19 relief package to remedy the housing insecurity of people of color;
  • Create a refundable renter’s tax credit to provide relief to cost-burdened renters;
  • Establish a Presidential Commission on Reparations to Black people for a legacy of anti-Black federal housing policy;
  • Expand access to Housing Choice Vouchers so that millions of low-income families can access the benefit;
  • Set a new vision for ending and preventing homelessness and develop partnerships to avoid it;
  • Increase the supply of public and subsidized housing and eliminate the backlog of repairs in existing public and subsidized housing;
  • Research and pilot a universal basic income program that allows people to afford quality housing.
  • Establish a competitive Housing & Infrastructure Grant Program that incentivizes jurisdictions to make specified equity-focused policy changes and provide resources for programs and investments around improving access to and the quality of affordable housing.
  • Support the development of Community Land Trusts and create tax-relief programs to help individuals who are facing potential displacement as the result of rapidly increasing home values due to gentrification.
  • Invest in a program that provides assistance with home ownership costs, specifically for households that rent or live in historically redlined communities.

America is ready for a national conversation and action on housing. People nationwide see a clear role for the government to provide solutions and policies that assure that all of us have a place to call home.

The ongoing impacts of the pandemic and economic downturn, combined with amplified calls for racial justice, further underscore the need to prioritize housing justice. Home is essential, but for far too many people a safe, stable, healthy home is completely out of reach. Join us to discuss the issues and learn how philanthropy can support organizers working to create access to home for all communities.


  • Faron Mclurkin, Vice President of Programs, Neighborhood Funders Group, Democratizing Development Program
  • Amy Kenyon, Program Officer, Ford Foundation


  • Jeremie Greer, Executive Director, Liberation in a Generation, contributing author to Housing Policy Playbook
  • Philip McHarris, Movement for Black Lives, discussing the BREATHE Act
  • Jennifer Cossyleon, PhD Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow and Policy Advisor at Community Change Action
  • Miriam Axel-Lute, CEO/Editor-in-Chief, Shelterforce magazine (moderator)


  • Explore both the process and content highlights of the Playbook and the Breathe Act
  • Present the two as complementary in terms of time frames—Playbook focusing on first 200 days, Breathe Act often offering bigger changes that the Playbook actions may set up to be more possible
  • Understand the role of philanthropy during this political moment
  • Leave audience with an understanding of the next steps

March 10, 2021 at 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Showing 1 reaction

  • Stephanie Chan
    published this page in Programming 2021-02-25 09:47:44 -0500

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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