Thirty years ago, Enterprise Community Partners began with three women, one man and a dream. The women were members of a local church, and the man was Jim Rouse, the real estate developer responsible for Columbia. Together, they had a dream that everyone should have the opportunity to live in an affordable home.
“The company was founded as a social enterprise that uses public and private partnership to achieve the goal that everyone has an affordable home in a diverse, thriving community,” says Terri Ludwig, president and CEO of Enterprise, which is based in Columbia.
Together with developers, investors, government, community-based nonprofits and other organizations, Enterprise has raised and invested more than $11 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve nearly 300,000 homes nationwide, according to its website.
“Our work is all about people and places,” says Ludwig. “It’s about lifting people up through affordable housing.”
It all began in 1972, when Terry Flood, Barbara Moore and Carolyn Banker wanted to create low-income housing in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., according to Ludwig.
Even though they didn’t have any background in development, they raised the money to place a down payment on two apartment buildings. Inspired by their commitment, Rouse, who was CEO of The Rouse Co., decided to help, and together they founded Jubilee Housing a year later. Jubilee Housing provided the basis for Rouse and his wife, Patty, to create Enterprise Foundation in 1982, which was renamed Enterprise Community Partners in 2005.
This year, the organization is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a gala in New York City and its annual Jim Rouse Day of Service, which will take place in October.
For more information, go to www.enterprisecommunity.com.