Century Housing announces the Century California Fund (CCF) investment initiative to help close the gap in economic and social disparities in California.
Since its founding, Century has been focused on addressing the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the communities it serves. Consistent with its mission, Century is making a further investment in underserved communities, specifically communities of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) who have been disproportionately impacted by lack of access to traditional lending, education, affordable housing, livable wages and small business opportunities.
With an initial seed investment of $8 million in the CCF fund, Century hopes to make a positive impact for underserved communities that typically have inadequate financial wealth to access higher education, or access to financing for business opportunities, affordable housing, or home ownership.
“We believe in closing racial wealth gaps, in access to higher education, living wages, lending and financial opportunities,” said Alan Hoffman, SVP, Century Housing. “The CCF initiative’s emphasis will include education, jobs, small business expansion, and affordable housing,” added Hoffman.
The inaugural theme for the CCF is the Century Educational Opportunity (CEO) grant. CCF’s pilot program is tackling the challenges facing under-resourced communities. We seek to empower students to enroll in vocational or trade school and invest in higher education to become the next generation of leaders, notably in the affordable housing financing and development sectors.
“The CEO grant program is in line with our mission, vision and values of Century, to help people stay housed, healthy, and have new opportunities”, said Ronald Griffith, President and CEO, Century Housing. “In addition, education reduces income inequality and increase intergenerational social mobility”, Mr. Griffith added.
The nine organizations receiving grants include California State University, Fullerton – Project Rebound, Coalition of Rural Housing (CCRH), Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), El Camino College, Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC), Larkin Street Youth Services (LSYC), LifeSteps, Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and Venice Community Housing (VCH).
“Coalition for Responsible Community Development is proud to be a recipient of the Century California Fund, which will help to support graduates of CRCD Academy, a partnership with Youth Build Charter School of California based in South Los Angeles, to use towards their post-secondary or continued education,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO, CRCD.
“The California Coalition for Rural Housing is greatly honored to be included in the first cohort of nine Century Housing Fund awardees, statewide. We will use the funds to provide scholarship assistance to aspiring or current university/college students from farmworker, tribal, and rural communities hard hit by the pandemic, wildfires, and income losses,” said Rob Weiner, President and CEO, CCRH.
Michael Fuller, Executive Director of Foundation for LACC adds, “The Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges is proud to partner with Century California Fund in offering scholarships to LACCD student who will benefit by entering the workforce with good paying jobs that strengthen the social fabric of communities throughout Southern California.”