FOUR KEY PILLARS
Access To Housing
We believe the right kind of home can provide a resident more than four walls and a roof. Few things lead to greater individual stability and opportunity than having housing that includes safety, community, and support. Through our efforts, contribution, and engagement, we seek to build lasting, vibrant communities where residents can thrive. We are particularly focused on enabling underserved individuals and partnering with organizations that assist low-income residents to find affordable housing and build community.
We recognize that we are stewards of the assets we manage and of the environment in which we operate. We seek to leave the objects of our stewardship better than we found them through action, investment, and influence. In partnership with Ceres, The Nature Conservancy, and through powerful networks and advocacy, Bridge helps to tackle the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses.
We believe children are the leaders of tomorrow. We seek to protect, nurture, educate, and empower children in a way that best prepares them to fulfill their future responsibilities with purpose.
We believe the greatest investment one can make is in one’s self. Through study, thought, and experience, an individual can find enhanced purpose and make a lasting contribution to the world. We seek to support educational and internship opportunities, particularly for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.
Bridge Gives is our workplace giving program. Through partnership with Benevity, team members can create a personal portfolio of causes, give money and/or time to their charities of choice, take advantage of the company charitable matching program and stay connected to what we are trying to accomplish together as a company by giving back to our communities. Each employee is also encouraged to take advantage of an annual Bridge Gives day to engage with and volunteer in their surrounding communities.
Among the many distinguishing features of Bridge, perhaps the most pronounced is our focus on our extended community of colleagues, residents and families. As an expression of the BRIDGE GIVES philosophy, we created the Bridge CARES: COVID-19 Relief Fund to help those less fortunate, the residents living within Bridge-managed communities impacted by the crisis. Bridge committed $1 million funded out of the Bridge Workforce & Affordable Housing “Bridge Community Enhancement Initiative (BCEI)” Empowerment pillar, and the Partners of Bridge have personally pledged approximately $500,000 as well to support our residents.
We believe our residents, regardless of age, should have access to the resources necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy. Each year, Bridge awards $10,000 college scholarships to talented residents living in multifamily communities owned and operated by Bridge. A competitive and prestigious scholarship, selection is based on academic achievements, leadership, extracurriculars, personal essays and diversity. In 2018 and 2019, Bridge recognized 15 exceptional and diverse “Bridge Scholars” across the U.S. In 2020, the “Bridge to Education” program has been expanded to award 10 diverse “Bridge Scholars” with college scholarships as well as to support 38 foster care residents in our Queens Opportunity Zone with a Back to School package.
We Got Your Back seeks to provide homeless youth with the strength and means they need to reach out for help from our partner nonprofit organizations Covenant House and Volunteers of America. In partnership with these organizations, Bridge has been able to provides homeless youth with a simple but essential tool for survival: a backpack. In 2019, We Got Your Back served 7,410 homeless youth, with 278 Bridge employees and 1,762 Bridge residents, tenants and seniors participating across 18 communities.
Bridge has reduced the management fee it collects from its Workforce and Affordable Housing strategy to fund the Bridge Community Enhancement Initiative (“BCEI”) – comprised of dedicated social programs focused on improving the daily life of residents and building vibrant, thriving communities across Bridge target markets nationwide. The combined amount anticipated to be funded through BCEI over the term of existing funds is $30 million to be allocated to initiatives across three pillars of focus: connecting, educating, and empowering. BCEI represents a formal continuation of the social and community programming commitment that Bridge founding team members initiated in 1995 and maintained across many investments made over the years since. These investments and their residents have benefited in tangible and intangible ways including improved community inter-connectivity (both among residents and with the community at large), a greater sense of belonging and commitment to neighbors, higher relative occupancy rates, lower turnover and associated costs, and higher net operating income and investment value. Impact outcomes are generally measured by community engagement partner organizations and reported using evaluation standards of the impact investing industry.
Through the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) IRIS metrics, Bridge seeks to provide a level of actionable intelligence as it relates to social and economic mobility, affordability and sustainability not often found in the Real Estate industry.