The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs Receives $100,000 Grant from Melville Charitable Trust

Grant to Help the Alliance Address Housing Insecurities for Communities of Color 

ORLANDO, FL – The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) announced today a $100,000 grant from the Melville Charitable Trust (The Trust). The funding will support the Alliance Housing Initiative; a program designed to eradicate racial policies that perpetuate housing instability. 

The state of housing for Black America has been challenging. Systemic racism in housing policies has led to displacement and instability in Black neighborhoods, and lower rates of homeownership.  The Alliance Housing Initiative aims to address these disparities by creating equitable solutions that increase the percentage of Black and brown homeowners, prevent evictions, and ensure stability for communities that need it most. The Alliance and The Trust share a common interest in mitigating the hardships endured by minority and low-income populations. The grant will support the development of the Alliance’s housing strategy to empower members to advocate for anti-racist housing policy reform at the federal, state, and local levels, and to encourage members to adopt best practices that increase housing opportunity and improve housing stability in Black and brown communities. 

“Housing instability, especially in communities of color, remains a pressing issue that demands our attention and action. This grant is not just a financial contribution; it is a symbol of shared commitment towards eradicating systemic inequities within the housing market,” said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., CEO of the Alliance. “By focusing on housing stability, we can help communities build generational wealth and repair the harms of structural racism. We extend our sincere gratitude to the Melville Charitable Trust for supporting this crucial initiative.” 

“We believe that safe and stable housing is critical to ending homelessness. The Trust is committed to ensuring that all people have a home by focusing on systems change, policy and advocacy. Through collaborations with organizations like the Alliance we can ensure critical resources reach the communities that need it most,” said Alyia Gaskins, Senior Program Officer at the Melville Charitable Trust. Melville’s contribution brings the Alliance one step closer to creating a racial economic-justice ecosystem where Black-led CDFIs, and the communities they serve, can thrive. 

“There is an equity problem in the housing development system. Therefore, we need to strongly advocate for the communities that need affordable housing the most,” said Marshall Crawford, President and CEO of The Housing Fund. “I’m encouraged by collaborations between organizations like The Alliance and the Melville Charitable Trust because they foster a holistic approach to tackling homelessness.”  

By addressing inequitable systems and housing instability, The Alliance aims to improve the lives of people in marginalized communities, ensure equitable access to housing and close the racial wealth gap.  

To learn more about what’s next for the Alliance, please visit

# # # 

African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs  

The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, known as “The Alliance,” is a membership organization consisting of 76 CEOs from Black-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). These institutions include loan funds, credit unions, venture capital firms, and non-profit developers. Since its establishment in 2018, The Alliance’s extensive network has provided services across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. To learn more about The Alliance and its programs, please visit    

Media Contact:  

Alisha Brown / African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs  

[email protected] / 901-849-0820