In March 2023, Hester Street partnered with Change Capital Fund (CCF), a collaborative of foundations, banks, intermediaries, and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) to offer technical assistance to eight community-based organizations (CBOs) through CCF’s Fund to Advance Community Ownership.
As part of CCF’s third grant cohort, each grantee will receive $150,000 per year through 2026 as they advance projects that will provide deeply and permanently affordable housing, community facilities, open spaces, and/or support for food related businesses in the form of community land trusts; limited equity coops; worker coops; and other community-directed entities. The 2023 Change Capital grantees include:
In June 2023, CCF hosted the first cohort convening to welcome grantees and establish a learning agenda for the year. Grantees provided an overview of their project goals, milestones, and anticipated challenges followed by theme-based discussions. In September 2023, the cohort met with the Development Director of Make the Road New York (MRNY), Julie Miles, and the Director of Enterprise Community Partners, Elizabeth Zeldin, for a discussion on community facilities and housing. Miles provided grantees with an overview of financing sources and lessons from an exemplary capital campaign, while Zeldin addressed common acquisition, pre-development, and financing sources and strategies for producing deeply affordable units.
Through 2026, HST will host sessions to offer each grantee targeted design support, help them secure legal assistance, connect them to other consultants, and create a learning environment through capacity-building workshops allowing each organization to share lessons and challenges with each other in order to grow community ownership.
Photo credit: East NY Community Land Trust courtesy of Change Capital Fund