EDSD’s Executive Council made a momentous decision by authorizing the allocation of funds to the Mission Real Estate Task Force, enabling the engagement of a consultant who will serve as the Portfolio Manager for upcoming projects. This step signifies the diocese’s commitment to advancing its real estate endeavors and bolstering its mission in our communities.
Bishop Susan Brown Snook called together the Mission Real Estate Task Force over two years ago to look at how congregations could use their under-utilized property to address the housing crisis across our region. The task force’s purpose is to support congregations throughout the diocese using church real estate to bring God’s good news into the world through mercy, justice, and evangelism.
The Mission Real Estate Task Force has been diligently working towards this milestone, having successfully generated a Request for Proposals (RFP) document, which has been extended to multiple firms for their consideration and submission of proposals. This extensive process aims to identify the most qualified partner to collaborate on the diocese’s vision for its real estate program. When selected, the consultant will be responsible for setting up a program to facilitate timelines, budget management, and ongoing communications with the Diocese and the participating congregations.
The RFP outlines an overview of the Mission Real Estate program, delineating the task force’s objectives to augment congregational income and provide valuable services to the surrounding community.
All four of the counties served by our diocese, like many other regions across the United States, have experienced a severe shortage of affordable housing. The escalating costs of housing and limited availability of affordable units have led to a crisis affecting individuals and families across various socioeconomic backgrounds. At the same time, the age of the average Episcopalian is from the high 50s to low 60s, and the decline in membership and giving is raising new questions for the Church about how to be in relationship with the broader community. The task force hopes the real estate project will provide a new way to financially support the mission and ministry of congregations and serve the neighborhoods around them.
In another noteworthy development, Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies has acknowledged the diocese’s letter of inquiry and extended an invitation to progress further in the grant application process. While this invitation does not constitute a definitive commitment to awarding the diocese a grant, it is an encouraging response that reflects the potential alignment between the organizations’ shared goals.
As the Mission Real Estate Task Force proceeds, it eagerly submitted the grant application to Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies in early July. Updates regarding the Portfolio Manager’s selection and the Trinity grant’s outcome will be shared with the diocese. Together, the diocese and its partners are poised to profoundly impact the communities they serve through the transformative development of church land.
Learn more about this endeavor and access resources for mission real estate at edsd.org/missionrealestate.
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