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New Study of COVID-19 Impacts on Nonprofit Real Estate

Our friends at the Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) recently published a report on COVID19 impacts on nonprofit real estate. The report is a part of NCG’s effort to understand and address nonprofit displacement in the San Francisco Bay Area and was done in partnership with Harder+Company Community Research.

The Bay Area’s pandemic shelter-in-place order, issued almost exactly one year ago, was one of the first issued as well as the most stringent in the country. This makes the pandemic’s economic consequences on Bay Area nonprofits and their ability to sustain mission-enhancing workspaces particularly compelling.

The study found that of the 294 nonprofits respondents, many have moved to remote working but 75% of them are still fully paying their rent/mortgage. About a quarter of organizations negotiated new lease terms though just 4% ended their lease entirely. For those that owed back rent (41% of respondents), the average amount owed was $16,000.

The study also found that the pandemic’s disproportionate economic and health impacts on BIPOC communities are playing out in a nonprofit real estate context, too: BIPOC-led organizations feel as if they’re less likely to have their back rent forgiven as well as are more concerned that they’ll be evicted when eviction moratoriums are lifted.

Looking forward, most nonprofits anticipate needing about the same amount of space in the near term. But, when the pandemic is over, about two-thirds foresee moving to a hybrid work arrangement and, of much interest to us at NCN, the majority of nonprofits said they’d be interested in sharing space.

For the full report, please head here:

About Our Blogger:

Lexi Paza, Co-Director

Lexi has spent the last fifteen years working within the intersection of the built environment and social fabric of communities, beginning on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she supported operations at a small nonprofit multitenant center before spending two years in Chicago earning a MA in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, where she concentrated on community planning, organizing, and development. Since then, she has served as an AmeriCorps member supporting home repairs for low-income and elderly homeowners with Rebuilding Together, employed a community build model to build playgrounds nationwide with KaBOOM!, managed renovations on nonprofit housing facilities with the Housing Industry Foundation, and managed the placemaking and collaborative infrastructure at Tides Converge San Francisco, a campus of eighty mission-aligned nonprofits and social enterprises. Lexi is a fierce believer that the design, use, and access of a community’s physical spaces are deeply linked to equity.

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