A Message From Our President

Catherine Howard headshot

In 2022, we continued to embrace a posture of listening, learning, partnership and innovation. As we listened to our community partners, we took action.

Dear friends,

As I look back at 2022, I reflect on the key questions that have remained central to our work and purpose: What does it take to achieve justice, power and equity in our communities? How are we at Community Vision best positioned to continue working to redress the effects of systemic discrimination and oppression? 

History has shown us that in this country, land is deeply connected to these questions. There are numerous examples of injustice, ranging from the forceful appropriation of Indigenous land by white settlers to discriminatory practices such as redlining aimed at preventing Black communities from owning homes. The issue of who owns and controls land has remained closely tied to broader issues of justice, wealth, power and equity. 

We see land justice as a key issue related to other systemic inequalities, and we continue to deepen our commitment to providing responsive, flexible financing and technical assistance that advances community ownership of community assets. We partner with organizations and small businesses deeply rooted in the communities they serve to support the acquisition, development and preservation of social purpose real estate that meets community needs and builds community wealth and power.  

In 2022, we continued to embrace a posture of listening, learning, partnership and innovation. As we listened to our community partners, we took action. 

Thanks to our staff, donors, funders and investors, we were able to collaborate with communities, leverage resources, and launch and refine programs and products that directly aligned with community priorities. 

For example, we began the Bay Area Racial Equity Fund (BayREF) in response to the lingering and inequitable impacts of COVID-19 in communities. BayREF provided free technical assistance and access to 0% working capital loans for small to mid-sized organizations led by and serving Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities. In total, BayREF alone moved more than $2 million into BIPOC-led organizations and provided 365 hours of financial training.

Additionally in 2022, we lent more than $29.3 million to nonprofits, small businesses and social enterprises that are developing affordable housing, creating and preserving space for cultural expression and revitalizing local economies.

Our dedicated team of real estate and financial management consultants provided more than 6,500 consulting hours in the community, including to emerging community developers who are increasing local ownership of real estate across California. 

In this report, we are excited to share some of these stories from the community, such as Visionary Home Builders of California, one of only a few affordable housing developers working in the Central Valley, and an overview of our partnership with arts and culture organizations that are rooted in their communities.  

As we celebrate the successes and learnings of our last fiscal year, I want to say a deep thank you to all of our dedicated staff, donors, funders, investors and community partners. Together, we can move the needle towards justice, power and equity. 

With gratitude,

Catherine Howard

President, Community Vision