Too often, national funders look at national problems and think the solutions must be in Washington, DC. Well, we know that’s not always the case. Usually, new solutions are imagined, developed, and piloted at the local level by local leaders. From historic, regional supportive housing efforts in Portland, Oregon, to first-of-its-kind tenant voting blocs in Kansas City, Missouri, the local level is often where new challenges and creative solutions are first seen. That’s why one of Funders for Housing and Opportunity’s (FHO) major strategies is to support and elevate successful local efforts to make affordable housing more accessible, reduce racial disparities, and improve the choices that Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Latino, and people of color have about their education, health, and economic mobility. Ultimately, successful local strategies and solutions can inform other cities and states across the nation.

Funders for Housing and Opportunity is a collaborative of 13 philanthropies, including JPMorgan Chase, where we collectively pool $4 million in grant funds annually and work across three focus areas: elevating what works, influencing policy, and changing the narrative about housing. As described in an earlier article in this in-depth series, collective funding through FHO complements the investments that each foundation makes on its own. FHO has a role in seeding and piloting strategies and amplifying the voice of the most impacted people within these solutions. Member foundations can then advance solutions even farther by helping to scale up pilot programs in the areas where they work and carrying local voices to audiences they might not otherwise reach.

Local initiatives will tell funders and the housing industry a lot about the partnerships and strategies needed to reduce evictions, create and preserve affordable housing, and encourage the development of racially just housing policies. In this article, we’ll explore an example of a successful housing justice initiative in Miami-Dade County and share what we’ve learned from working together with the local practitioners on the front lines of America’s housing crisis.

Read the full article about local solutions for housing by Mercedeh Mortazavi and Alana Greer at Stanford Social Innovation Review.