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

Housing Justice Recommendations for Philanthropy's Engagement with the Federal Administration

Last update February 1, 2021

Over the past four years, we have witnessed numerous policy attempts to dismantle humane, effective, and equitable solutions to ending homelessness and housing instability. There were concerted efforts within federal leadership and agencies to rollback critical protections for historically marginalized communities, undo regulations grounded in evidence-based solutions, and set up conditions for new policies that actively fought against racial equity and justice. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created new conditions in which people experiencing homelessness, particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, were disregarded or intentionally left out of response and recovery conversations.  

With the new Biden-Harris administration there is hope, but philanthropy cannot step back and allow systems to return to the status quo – because the status quo was unjust and inequitable. Instead, funders must focus on ensuring that people with lived expertise help to build racially just housing infrastructure and that there are strong accountability measures to maintain it. We believe philanthropy has an obligation to support and resource efforts that will disrupt the status quo that centers whiteness and upholds white supremacy.
As philanthropy looks to engage with a Biden-Harris administration, there are priorities to center and actions to take to ensure the first year builds a strong foundation for creating and implementing bold policies rooted in housing justice. All these recommendations for engaging with the new administration begin with and prioritize racial and housing justice. 

**First 100 Day Priority

**Support an Equitable COVID-19 Response and Recovery

**Fund Advocacy and Organizing Efforts to Build and Advance Bold Policy

**Engage in Relational Public-Private Partnerships Rooted in Justice

**Model How to Advance Racial Equity and Invest in Disenfranchised Communities

Facilitate Transparency in Engaging Community Voices on the Ground

Build Relationships to Support Both Political and Career Staff

Support Narrative and Messaging Efforts for Public Affairs Staff



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  • Lauren Bennett
    published this page in Funder Resources 2021-01-28 07:21:29 -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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