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Let's start another narrative. Let's repair the damages of the past.

HOUSING JUSTICE IS LONG OVERDUE.



Flock DC is a real estate management company serving the District proper. We knew from the start that to take flight, we all need fuel. This core value is at the heart of Flock’s birdSEED philanthropic giving initiative. Good citizenship and bold contributions to community are part of our wingprint. Our giving began 12 years ago with our time. Indeed, it was all we had to spare. We helped build playgrounds, plant gardens, serve meals and sort clothing. We have (and still) wander the streets with trash bags and lend our spaces to those who have needed to gather, plot and plan for a better world. Later, we added a microgrant program designed to support the activists and entrepreneurs among us so ideas could soar. We’ve provided funds with few strings and an indifference to credentials and tax status. We leaned into the passion and grit our incredible applicants brought to the table.

REP·A·RA·TION

/ˌrepəˈrāSH(ə)n/


The making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.

We homed in on getting resources to people like us - District of Columbia change makers and risk takers - the doers, makers and disruptors among us. To date, Flock’s micro-grant program has funded big, bold ideas like large scale murals, veteran farmer supplies, funds for firefighters installing smoke detectors for seniors living east of the river and bicycle repair stations in underserved communities. We supported an organization that hosts birthday parties for homeless kids and another that teaches African American girls to code. And so much more. But still Not Enough. And so begins our work on housing justice and our latest, most ambitious steps to support home buying for our Black and Brown neighbors in the District. These are the seeds we’re planting today as part of a reparative move toward a more just future. We hope you join us. We have a lot of work to do.

 


GIVING AREAS

 


Housing
Justice Grant

Our downpayment assistance program is now closed. With $215,000 in seed funding, we’re looking forward to repairing an unjust past and providing support to first time homebuyers that have been historically excluded from the wealth generating acquisition of homes. Flock may not be responsible for the injustice of the past but we’re responsible for reimagining and investing in a more just and equitable future.

 
How it works
Flock is seeding this fund with $215,000 for down payment support. The fund will focus on Black and Brown first time home buying residents of the District. The application/review process will be deliberately uncomplicated. A board of advisors will review applications and we will match funds with qualified applicants. A partnership with the Greater Washington Foundation will help support the administrative complexity so we can very simply help people buy homes.

We’ve been accepting birdSEED homebuyer applications within the month of February, 2021. First time homebuyer downpayment assistance grants will range from 5k - 15k per applicant. To contribute to and support this work, please reach out to [email protected] to get engaged in this work of repairing an unjust past and planting seeds for a brighter and more just future.
How it grows
Our ask of our peers: let’s invest in a just future. For many of us, a history of racial injustice has paved the way for our success. We can no longer accept this. The proposition is simple. We are presenting to our colleagues in the real estate world a chance to say, YES. Count me in to write a new story: I seek inclusion, equity and diversity in real estate acquisition. I support the transfer of intergenerational wealth and will work today to support that just tomorrow.

birdSEED is all about growth and new beginnings. We invite industry partners, peers, vendors, residents and fans to contribute to and promote this program for their own fresh giving start. We can customize opportunities for you or your organization to meet your giving objectives, just reach out to [email protected] for guidance. If you are ready to give now (and why not!?!) click the DONATE button. It’s easy! Give today for an equitable tomorrow.
birdSEED parameters
  • Grants of a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $15,000
  • Grant funds do not need to be repaid. Ever
  • The funds will be compliant with mortgage lender guidelines
  • Conventional and FHA loans are compatible with the grant funds
  • Applicants have 120 days to exercise/receive the grant award. Extensions are available on a case-by-case basis
  • Unfunded applications will be reconsidered for three funding rounds. Applicants should withdraw if grant funds are no longer sought
  • Four grants will be made in Q-2 of 2021. Awards will be announced in mid to late March of 2021
Minimum requirements for primary applicant
  • Primary applicant must Identify as:
    American Indian, Indigenous, or Alaska Native
    Asian American/Pacific Islander
    Black or African American
    Hispanic or Latinx
  • First-time home buyer
  • DMV resident for three + years
  • Combined Household Income (HHI) not to exceed $150,000
  • Home must be used as primary residence
  • Grant is contingent upon mortgage approval
  • Home must meet minimum conventional loan requirements
  • birdSEED grants may be paired with other ownership support programs like HPAP
Applicants will provide
  • Lender information + pre-approval
  • Essay and request for support (one page maximum)
  • DMV resident for three + years
  • Location of property; if applicants have not ratified a contract, they may have up to 120 days to use the asssisstance. At minimum, the property must pass inspections consistent with FHA lending requirements for habitability.
Grantees Agree To
  • Interviewing and participating in a published article documenting their experience and home buying journey
  • Appear in photos of the home exterior with the residents
  • DMV resident for three + years
  • Appear in Flock DC newsletters, press releases, press coverage and on the website
  • Location of property; if applicants have not ratified a contract, they may have up to 120 days to use the asssisstance. At minimum, the property must pass inspections consistent with FHA lending requirements for habitability.

 


District Microgrants + Community Investment

In June of 2021, we’ll open micro grant applications for doers, makers and disruptors in the District. The spirit of the funding is simple in nature. One-page applications will be accepted over a 30-day period and grants up to $2,500 will be offered for projects or programs that impact DC proper. We ask that projects can begin and end in a three month window. It is not required that applicants be part of or affiliated with a not for profit and businesses; artists, agitators, educators and more are encouraged to apply.

 


Community Engagement + Action

Need some wingpower for your program? We’re able to quickly convene and advance community change with our exceptionally dedicated team and network. We’ve opened our doors to Black Lives Matter activists on protest days, you can spot us on trash walks, hosting fundraisers for healthcare or tutoring underserved kids in the District and feeding frontline workers while supporting our restaurants.

If you have a need or idea, we want to hear it.

Reach out to [email protected] and let's talk!

 


We’re smitten with our giving story.
BUT IT'S JUST NOT ENOUGH.



The murder of George Floyd compelled Flock to study our privilege as a company. Presumably, our hard work and creativity anchored our success. But did it really?

 

In part, yes. But there is a harder truth to reconcile.  And to be candid - that reconciliation will be out of reach until we, as a society, write a future that begins to undo the wrongs of the past when it comes to Black and Brown Americans.  Our neighbors.  YOUR neighbors.

 

Today, Flock's profits come from managing homes.  But we cannot ignore the past.  The real estate industry and its generation to generation wealth creation has been out of reach for many Black and Brown individuals.  Redlining alone tells the story we have to study as a very real social, political and economic conspiracy to prevent (predominately) Black homeownership.

 

“Conspiracy,” however, implies that there was something to hide. In actuality, redlining and steering was very public. The overtly racist practices and policies that prevented the accumulation of wealth through home/property ownership disrupted any hope for parity or equality in real estate and home buying.  And, by design, the acquisition of wealth generating assets like real property and the ability to pass them onto future generations was deliberately kept out of reach for those who didn’t look like me.  Together, with the Greater Washington Community Foundation we're planting seeds for the equitable future we want to be part of.

 

That isn’t a story I want to be part of. So let’s start another narrative. Let’s repair the damages of the past.  And let’s call it what it is: long overdue reparations.

 

In late fall of 2020, Flock’s birdSEED evolved into a foundation designed to offer home buying assistance to Black and Brown residents of the District of Columbia.  Is this a financial windfall for many who have long sought home ownership? Not quite yet. Does it shift the conversation and invite those who have squarely benefited from an industry that excluded others to consider their responsibility?  It should.  My peers might say: “but I didn’t cause the problem!”  To which I say: “Maybe not, but it’s your responsibility - it’s OUR responsibility to UNDO it.”

 

- Lisa Wise, Founder and Chief Flockster



THE TEAM




COMMUNITY ADVISORS




Donate

Click Here to Donate via Credit Card

 

To donate via ACH or wire transfer, please e-mail [email protected] for directions including routing and account information. Don't forget to include "birdSEED Foundation" in the memo line of your transfer!

We are proud to partner with Flock and welcome birdSEED into the Greater Washington Community Foundation family. This program comes at a time when our region, and our nation, is reckoning with its past and searching for solutions to address the history of discriminatory policies that Black and Brown folks have endured in our communities. We look forward to working with our community to grow the seed of this work to a scale that matches the disparities we see and the aspirations we share for a racially equitable and just region.

Tonia Wellons - President + CEO, The Greater Washington Community Foundation

We homed in on getting resources to people like us -District of Columbia change makers and risk takers, the doers, makers and disrupters among us. To date, our micro-grant program has funded big bold ideas.


ADDRESS


1508 U St. NW
Washington, DC
20009


CONTACT


P(202) 540-8038
[email protected]