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Program Related Investments: A Powerful Complement to Grantmaking

October 20, 2017

Program Related Investments (PRIs) can be a powerful complement to a foundation’s grantmaking— enabling mission-driven organizations to expand their impact and influence. A recently completed In Practice paper examines a series of PRIs that the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation provided to the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) between 2004-2016 as part of a broad program to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County. These PRIs have had demonstrable impact, contributing to the creation and growth of a robust pipeline of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).

PSH Units Initiated with Hilton Foundation-Supported Loans

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Source: CSH data. Includes both completed PSH projects and those in the pipeline.

More than a decade after providing an initial $1 million PRI to seed CSH’s entry into the Los Angeles market, the Hilton Foundation’s PRIs to CSH have expanded to a total of $8 million, $6 million of which is targeted to Los Angeles County. In its capacity as a Community Development Financial Institution lender, CSH has deployed the Hilton Foundation PRI funds in a series of loan pools to help PSH developers acquire land and pay the initial costs involved in getting a project ready to close on long-term financing.

Cumulative Funds Leveraged vs. Cumulative CSH PRI (Direct)

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Source: CSH data. Includes both completed and pipeline projects. Note that the $2 million provided in 2012 was part of a national fund deployed all over the U.S., including but not limited to Los Angeles. Only the funds leveraged within Los Angeles are represented in this visual.

The results are clear and measurable: Over a 13-year period, CSH leveraged $8 million in Hilton Foundation PRI lending into over $1 billion in permanent capital for PSH development. This leverage facilitated the production of 2,354 units of supportive housing plus an additional 1,014 units of conventional affordable housing.

This report, written for the Foundation by Laurie Gould and Janet Boguslaw, includes some important insights as to how funders can use PRIs in their partnerships and also highlights the hallmarks of the Hilton Foundation’s PRI strategy—a willingness to share risk, to commit for the long term and to invest in building strong and durable relationships.

In Practice: Program Related Investments for Sustained Impact

Written by Laurie Gold and Dr. Janet Boguslaw

Read the In Practice Paper

Related Priority


Ending chronic homelessness Learn more ›

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