Commitment to California 2023 Review

January 29, 2024

January 29, 2024-Oakland, CA

Commitment to California 

Merritt believes everyone should have a home in a community where they can thrive. We do this by investing in affordable housing and people to build a stronger California. Merritt launched Commitment to California in 2022 to support the people and policies that create and preserve affordable housing in California.  Commitment to California has become a vital part of Merritt’s work, including the expansion of Merritt Scholars and the creation of the Asset Management Specialist+ Cohort. It encompasses multiple programs to attract, train, and retain affordable housing practitioners and create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive affordable housing industry. Merritt financially contributes and provides technical expertise to support policies and works to strengthen California’s affordable housing associations. We are thrilled to be entering our third year of Commitment to California, reflect on what we have done the last two years, and what the upcoming years will bring.  

How It’s Going 

When we launched Commitment to California in 2022, we were thrilled to welcome 275 people with 71% of Commitment to California participants identifying as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) and/or have lived experience in affordable housing/homelessness.  

In our second year, we were thrilled to continue supporting partner organization programs, expand Merritt Scholars, and launch the first Asset Management Specialist+ Cohort to Commitment to California! As Commitment to California grows, we are excited to support different career areas of affordable housing including development, finance, asset management, project management, policy, and property management. In 2023, with the addition of our new programs, we had over 500 Commitment to California participants with 54% identifying as BIPOC or have lived experience in affordable housing and/or homelessness. 

Merritt Scholars  

Increased cohort from 16 to 20 scholars 

85% identify as BIPOC and/or have lived experience in affordable housing/homelessness

60% are from Cal State system 

From our 2022-2023 cohort, 14 of our 16 scholars have secured jobs in the affordable housing field 

AMS+ Cohort 

Launched new program with 25 participants 

72% identify as BIPOC  

60% of participants have lived experience with homelessness/affordable housing 

Housing Development Training Institute (HDTI)  

51 participants 

77% identify as BIPOC

Engaged funders and developers on HDTI panels and conferences 

Career Programs/Internships 

70 participants across career programs (ELPN, SCANPH, Housing CA)  

25 participants across CCRH, BAHIP, and CHP programs

100% identify as BIPOC  

Thank you to our partners and participants! 

Merritt Scholars and Merritt Scholar Mentors 

Merritt & CHAM: Asset Management+ Cohort 

California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH): Internship Program & Emerging Leaders Fellowship   

California Housing Partnership: Equity Policy Research Fellowship   

Housing CA: Emerging Leaders Program  

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC): Housing Development Training Institute (HDTI)   

Non-Profit Housing Association (NPH): Bay Area Housing Internship Program (BAHIP) and Emerging Leaders Peer Network (ELPN)   

Southern California Association of Non-Profits (SCANPH): Project Manager Mentorship Program 

San Diego Housing Federation (SDHF): School of Affordable Housing 

Looking Ahead 

We are grateful to partner with our trusted industry colleagues to support important programs that prepare the next generation of affordable housers and affordable housing leaders. We focus on programs that serve the affordable housing industry, support diverse voices, and reflect the communities they are serving. We are looking forward to another year of Commitment to California, the expansion of our in-house programs, and exciting additions coming later this year!  

Follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date on Commitment to California and other announcements! 

Learn more about Commitment to California.

Read about Commitment to California’s inaugural year here.

About Merritt Community Capital Corporation 

Merritt Community Capital Corporation is a nonprofit dedicated to our mission to provide equity capital for affordable housing exclusively to California. We do this by partnering with mission-aligned affordable housing developers throughout the state to ensure the most critical communities are developed and maintained for low-income residents. Since 1989, Merritt has created and/or preserved 11,100 affordable homes, through investing over $1.4 billion in 26 separate funds, providing housing for over 29,700 people. 



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