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Impact Report


Lift to Rise
July 2022- June 2024
Impact Report

Rising for each new day.

A message from the CEO

Over the past two years, we’ve continued to navigate through uncertain times by leaning into each other and moving toward a hopeful vision of the future where everyone in the Coachella Valley is healthy, stable, and thriving.

The outcomes of this collaborative effort are astounding. Thousands of local residents are engaged in advocacy to bring affordable housing and economic opportunities to their community. More than $44 million in capital is now available to spur new affordable developments. And more than 7,200 new affordable housing units are planned or already under construction.

Together we are redefining what’s possible when we act with purpose and passion.

Every day, our community faces obstacles. Some are new, some are old. Some are deeply private, and some are widespread public struggles. But together we are rising with each new day.

For the love of each other. No exceptions.

Heather Vaikona, President and CEO


Action Plan Snapshot

Our 2022-24 Action Plan moved us even closer to our ultimate 10-year goal of seeing 10,000 new affordable housing units built in the Coachella Valley by 2028 and reducing the number of rent-burdened households regionally by 30%. Key results from the Action Plan include:

  • The Affordable Housing Pipeline Portal, a new publicly available online tool, maps and tracks affordable housing development in the Coachella Valley.
  • We Lift: The Coachella Valley’s Housing Catalyst Fund grows to $44 million and reaches more than $26 million in total loan commitments for 891 affordable units across 11 projects.
  • Workshops and roundtables hosted by Lift to Rise help cities with pro-housing programs, Housing Element updates, and grants.
  • State policymakers work with us to unlock resources and amend rules and regulations to spur affordable housing development.
  • A network of committed community members gain skills in leadership and advocacy by participating in Lift to Rise workshops and championing pro-affordable housing policies and projects across the region.

Action Planning 2022 Retreat


Pipeline of Success

Lift to Rise’s regional collaboration has driven a significant increase in the local production of affordable housing – from an average of less than 50 units per year prior to 2018 to more than 1,600 units under construction or scheduled to begin construction within six months as of spring 2024.

We monitor the progress on more than 90 affordable housing projects and update the public with the online Affordable Housing Pipeline Portal.

Affordable units in the pipeline by development stage as of January 2024:

7,200+ affordable units planned or underway

1,143 – Conceptually Framed
3,406 – Public Financing Secured
518 – Construction Set to Begin
1,169 – Under Construction


Residents Leading Advocacy

Coachella Valley residents came out again and again to win support for pro-housing policies, new affordable housing developments, and better economic opportunities in their communities. Our resident engagement work includes:

  • 1,787 residents mobilize to contact elected officials in support of affordable housing projects and state budget requests over two years
  • Monthly workshops and education clinics draw more than 300 resident participants. Topics in sessions hosted by Lift to Rise include tenants’ rights, homeownership, financial literacy, and community organizing.
  • Three active resident initiatives – the Resident Leadership Table, the Community Advisory Committee, and Committees By Cities – add diverse voices to our work and ensure priorities are community-led.
  • 25 Indio families facing unlawful eviction win their cases after receiving support in their fight to keep their homes.


Lift to Rise
Resident Spotlight: Frank Elmore

Frank Elmore hasn’t stopped rising to support Lift to Rise’s mission since initially connecting with the work as a financially stressed renter during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Catalyst Fund Drives Production

Since its launch in 2021, We Lift: The Coachella Valley’s Housing Catalyst Fund has become a vital tool in Lift to Rise’s multifaceted effort to increase affordable housing production. All told, the fund has committed more than $26 million in loans to spark 891 new affordable housing units including multifamily rental, single-family homeownership, and Polanco parks.

Loans Deployed $14,560,000
Loans Obligated $11,800,000
Additional Loan Demand $58,250,000


Lift to Rise

“Lift to Rise came through on three different occasions at crucial moments when we thought the project could be on its deathbed. They not only offered the loans but offered the loans at substantially below market rates.”

Anup Patel, of West Hollywood Community Housing Corp., the project’s developer.


Lift to Rise
Partnership Power

Lift to Rise is the central hub of more than 75 community partners bound together in a shared belief in creating a brighter future for the Coachella Valley by advancing affordable housing and economic opportunities. These partners include all nine local cities, Riverside County, nonprofits, housing developers, advocates, and resident leaders. We want to thank every partner, donor, advocate, and sponsor who has contributed to advancing our mission of creating a future where every Coachella Valley family is healthy, stable, and thriving.

Please see our full list of partners and supporters.


Resource Deployment

Lift to Rise has aggregated over $100 million in the last six years, including pandemic response aid, credit enhancement and loan loss reserve capital for We Lift: The Coachella Valley’s Housing Catalyst Fund, and philanthropic grant funds for operations. 

Additionally, Lift to Rise deploys resources to partner organizations and supports local municipalities and partners in drawing down federal, state, and private funding.

View our nonprofit tax filings.

Follow two years of our impact


June 2022 Lift to Rise is named the California Nonprofit of the Year.
July 2022 Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez directs $2 million in ARPA funding to the We Lift catalyst fund to accelerate affordable housing development.
September 2022 The Kaiser Permanente Foundation makes a seven-figure investment to combat health and housing insecurity in the Inland region, including a two-year $490,000 grant in support of Lift to Rise.
October 2022 The 2022-2024 Action Plan, a roadmap of key strategies and goals, is released following a six- month development process that included community listening sessions, partner dialogue, and data analysis.
November 2022 Lift to Rise celebrates a $15 million allocation from the California state budget for We Lift: The Coachella Valley’s Housing Catalyst Fund, made possible with the leadership of Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and support of more than 70 local partners.
December 2022 Lift to Rise is named a 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award recipient.


April 2023 California Attorney General Rob Bonta tours Coachella Valley mobile home parks with Lift to Rise and partners.
June 2023 Following heartfelt testimony from community advocates, the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation recognizes housing as a direct determinant of health and unanimously approves $900,000 over three years for Lift to Rise.
July 2023 Lift to Rise turns five years old!
September 2023 U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz and Lift to Rise bring together representatives from leading national healthcare, housing, and philanthropic organizations in Washington, DC for a roundtable discussion on improving federal policies around the intersection of housing and health.
October 2023 The inaugural Community Investment Awards are held at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. The event recognizes individuals and organizations making meaningful contributions to the collective work of increasing housing stability and economic mobility in the Coachella Valley.
November 2023 The $300 million United Lift Rental Assistance Program formally ends. The program helped 120,000 Riverside County residents stay in their homes while also addressing food insecurity and mental health and was recognized by the White House as a successful public-private partnership preventing pandemic-era evictions.
December 2023 Lift to Rise participates in the Palm Springs and Coachella holiday parades.


January 2024 More than 70 partners gather over two days to create a vision for the 2024-26 Action Plan.
February 2024 The Indio Planning Commission approves a new 200-unit affordable housing development following public statements by dozens of residents organized by Lift to Rise.
May 2024 Lift to Rise and partners release the 2024-26 Action Plan, the strategic roadmap to guide our work and continue our progress for another two years.
June 2024 Lift to Rise celebrates $1 million in investment from the Wells Fargo Foundation since our inception in 2018.