Since 1982, Enterprise Community Partners has deployed $30 billion in affordable housing and community development projects, with a strong focus on creative placemaking to achieve their mission of ending housing insecurity in the United States. Under the thesis that Creative Places build trust, social cohesion, and resilience, drive economic development, change neighborhood perception and increase value and investability, they have invested in Creative Places through a mix of grants, equity, and debt. Much of these investments go directly to Community Development Corporations, who drive projects in communities such as:
Santo Domingo, NM
Santo Domingo is a Native American community in NM. More than two thirds of the community are artists, and many support themselves through hand crafts and artwork. The Tribal Housing Authority developed a former trading post along Route 66 into a creative business incubator, creating a space where artists can sell their work as well as build business skills and collaborate and learn from their peers. The incubator also includes programming that permits the artists to sell their work online, thus enabling them to reach customers all around the country.
Coalfield Development renovated an old factory that was an eye-sore into a new creative incubator and manufacturing hub for their fine woodworking company and other arts and culture based enterprises. The furniture company, as well as Coalfield’s other social enterprises, trains and employs low income community members, many of whom are former coalminers who lost their jobs with the decline of the coal industry. Nella Young of Enterprise explains that CDCs are starting to do this type of work more and more: investing in multiple programs to serve diverse needs for low income residents, and increasingly including the creative economy in their workforce development and business incubation.
Enterprise has taken a holistic approach to their investments in Baltimore – including Seawall Development – making long term investments over many years, helping to shift the overall reputation and investability of the area. Seawall Development has created a series of projects, including housing, commercial, nonprofit, and educational spaces, in addition to a food business incubator and public art and gathering spaces. These investments have fostered a network effect of local cultural institutions and creative businesses in addition to residential development.