Aiming to help low-income families move up the economic ladder, the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families is giving $3 million to Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that designs and builds affordable housing.

The grant is designed to create “innovative, integrated approaches” in areas like job training and healthcare that can increase economic mobility.

“This visionary grant from the Terwilliger Foundation will enable us to understand the best ways to promote economic mobility through an integrated approach that includes stable housing, innovative services, access to quality jobs, and opportunities to build income and assets,” said Terri Ludwig, Enterprise president and CEO.

“We will also be working closely with the public sector on strengthening the ways government funds, structures and delivers its services,” Ludwig added. “We look forward to sharing what we learn to create exponential impact for low-income families.”

The grant will be used to fund a two-year effort that features several “key” components, including:

  • Assessing Existing Programs and Identifying Priority Needs – Enterprise will partner with the Urban Institute to detail the current landscape and identify areas that may provide the greatest prospect for increasing opportunity. This research will serve as the basis for policy recommendations and the creation of pilot programs
  • Creating the Economic Mobility Network – This network will build on existing relationships with key partners to create a data-driven, capital-supported approach for sharing knowledge and demonstrating new strategies for increasing opportunity
  • Using technology to accelerate impact – This work will draw on resources like Opportunity360, a free, online platform enabling users to understand both “opportunity outcomes” (e.g. educational levels, health and income) and “opportunity pathways” that affect the attainment of those outcomes (e.g. school quality or job options) – in every census tract in the country. This project will also examine how technology can be a key part of delivering services, including tailoring them to individual needs

“We’re excited to support Enterprise as it works with partners to research and test ways to increase the economic mobility of residents living in affordable homes,” said J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus, Trammell Crow Residential and founder of the foundation that carries his name. “By bringing together best practices from the field and connecting them to new research and technology, we can make a profound difference in the lives of lower-income families and communities.”