Happy new year and welcome to 2023! In August 2020, Redfin launched a philanthropic and community outreach program called Redfin Rise to help underserved families achieve the dream of homeownership. As the director of Redfin Rise since January 2022, I want to take a moment to reflect on all we’ve accomplished this year and celebrate the nonprofit partners, people and experiences that have helped make a difference in the lives of so many. Our Redfin volunteers and supporters make it all possible, and we are deeply grateful for their efforts.
Our Partners Had Greater Impact
Through Rise, Redfin supported and partnered with four nonprofit organizations that are advancing racial diversity within the residential real estate industry by creating opportunities for families through various homeownership programs and initiatives. Since 2020, Redfin employees have donated $1,603,682 to these Redfin partners. This year, our donations provided extensive support for life-changing projects, including:
- Funded 1,372 housing counseling sessions for 940 Philadelphia families through Clarifi
- Supported the development of 22 permanently affordable homes for income qualified families in the Seattle area through Homestead Community Land Trust
- Sponsored $135,000 in closing grants to 45 homebuyers in the Chicago area through Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) in Chicago
- Constructed 515 homes in El Salvador and Mexico with New Story
We Helped More People
Behind each of the numbers above are real people with real stories, who are benefitting from the Rise partnership. Here are a few of those stories:
- We helped Clarifi clients like Dwayne Fair. His mother was a substitute teacher at the school across the street, and as a child his home was always open to students, family, and anyone in need. Dwayne had promised his ailing mother that he would continue doing good in the community where he had grown up by purchasing the home his mother loved so dearly, and he intended to keep that promise. To lose the home his mother rented from the housing authority for decades “would be like cutting off my arm.” But Dwayne would need some help along the way. “I didn’t even know what a credit score was.” Like many of Clarifi’s clients, Dwayne worked diligently for years to build his own path to homeownership, using Clarifi’s many programs to shorten that path. With Clarifi’s help, Dwayne owns his home, which now serves as the heart of his extended family and community, just as his mother intended.
- We worked closely with Homestead Community Land Trust to help individuals like Shavon Jones. A caseworker herself working with the unhoused, she and her five children lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Maple Valley, WA. Having grown up in Seattle’s Central District, the family made sacrifices to keep her children in those same schools and in contact with the supportive community they had always known. Now Shavon and her family live near transit that allows them to get to and from school or work quickly. Shavon currently serves as a member of the Homestead Board of Delegates, giving voice to the homeowner’s experience as the board governs the organization. You can hear Shavon tell her story in Homestead’s 30th Anniversary video.
- Through Redfin donations, Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago provided 45 grants for closing costs for various individuals. Meet Andre Robinson, who received a $3,300 grant to buy his first home. He worked closely with NHS Homeownership Counselor Michael Stumpf, who walked Andre through the entire process to help him reach his dream of owning his own home.
- Through the support of Redfin Rise, New Story has been able to build homes in Juayua, El Salvador. Before these homes became available, families living there lacked access to basic needs such as water, waste management, and electricity. Many of the families also had no access to a safe shelter for generations, living in houses made out of plastic and some metals. As of December 2022, 50 families have moved into their new homes and are excited to start a new chapter in their lives.
Redfin Employees Volunteered More of Their Time
This year our employees also engaged in a variety of volunteer opportunities through which they contributed their time, expertise, and love for our communities all over the country. Some of these included:
- Seattle Redfin agents participated in a community revitalization project in affordable housing development communities in Seattle, in partnership with Homestead Community Land Trust.
- In collaboration with Neighborhood Housing Services in Chicago, Chicago Redfin agents launched an education series called the Redfin “Rise Room,” featuring guest speakers offering home-related seminars each month. We’ve hosted classes on topics such as homebuyer education, the property tax appeal process, and a new series called “The Art of Negotiation” to help families navigate the homebuying process. Additionally, our agents attended housing fairs to provide important information and resources for the local community.
- More than 30 of our Dallas-Fort Worth colleagues participated in various community initiatives, including lake cleanups, clothing drives for underserved families, and various projects with their local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
- Redfin deal coordinators from Southern California partnered with Community’s Child to collect much-needed items for their food pantry. They also participated in the organization’s Adopt-A-Family program to assist homeless families who may otherwise not have the resources to celebrate the holidays.
We Built Resources to Help Families
We also helped raise awareness of first-time buyer programs and provided more educational resources on Redfin.com. Our First-Time Homebuyer Guide (available in English and Spanish) helps countless first-time homebuyers navigate the homebuying process. Our Down Payment Assistance Programs resource provides information on federal, state, and local down payment assistance programs for families. In October, we added this valuable information to home listings on our website to make it even easier for potential homebuyers to discover down payment assistance programs they may qualify for to help make homeownership more affordable.
We Raised More Awareness of Our Nonprofit Partnerships
In June 2022, we launched a social media campaign to drive more awareness of the Rise partners and their vital impact in the community. We showcased our collaborative efforts with these organizations, the impact our employees are having in their local communities, and recognized National Homeownership Month, celebrating the value that owning a home brings to families, communities, and neighborhoods everywhere.
As We Move Forward, We’re All In This Together
I’m proud of Redfin and the support our team provides to so many families. This year, we’ll continue to work with even more communities and Redfinnians to build upon our culture of service. We’ll work closely with employees to cultivate more volunteer opportunities that are important to them. Our work will allow us to support more underserved communities in which we live and work, while contributing to greater participation and impact.
We’ll also continue to enhance educational content and resources on our website to help even more families through their homebuying journey. And, we’ll create more ways to get others involved because we know that Redfin does not exist in isolation. It relies on multiple interdependent relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and investors. By inviting all of our stakeholders to be part of our journey to give back, we can have a greater collective impact.
Everyone deserves a fair shot at owning a home. Redfin Rise is a small step in helping more families achieve that dream. We invite you to join us–and we’ve only just begun!
To learn more about our partners or to make a donation to support their work, visit www.redfin.com/rise.