A few affordable housing resources
From: Dahako (Dahakoaol.com)
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 13:31:06 -0500
Hello all - This is a laundry list of starting pointsfor getting affordable
housing resources.

In response to my post on a possible role for a national organization, a
bunch of folks asked me to provide some information about the organizations I
mentioned, or any others I know of that might have pre-development money.
 (the hardest kind to get).
Instead of answering each message individually, as I started to do, I decided
to post a single message to the list. Hope that's OK.

The U.S. Dept of HUD has a home page with lots of useful funding links and
explanations of HUD programs.  I recommend links to How to Buy a HUD Home,
single family housing programs, the CDBG and HOME programs, local
consolidated plans (where the largest 900 cities and counties and each state
lay out their 5 year and annual affordable housing and community development
plans and the organizations that will do the work), library, and nonprofit
center.  www.hud.gov 

Connected to the HUD site is a site called Community Connections. Comcon is
the information clearinghouse for the community development side of HUD.  It
has neat links to housing resources all over the net.  The site is
www.comcon.org and the phone is 1-800-998-9999.  If you call, ask for a
publications list first. They also maintain a national schedule of CPD-funded
training.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation's NeighborWorks site is useful.
 Their training institute is just about the very best, and pretty affordable.
 They are hooked up with Neighborhood Housing Services and related local
nonprofits across the country.  They may have some predevelopment funding.
 www.nw.org

The Philanthropy Journal is a North Carolina institution gone global.  The PJ
site houses the Foundation Center, Philanthropy Links (including links to
various newsgroups), and the Meta-Index of Nonprofits.  There's a fair amount
of housing related funding info among these sites.
 www.philanthropy-journal.org

The Enterprise Foundation was founded by developer James Rouse (of Festival
Mall fame) because he wanted to affordably house every American in 10 years.
 That goal was not met, but Enterprise keeps trying.  Local Enterprise
organizations are in more and more communities.  Enterprise has money, good
training, and tons of housing construction and management expertise -
especially in economical rehab and lead based paint issues.
 www.entrprisefdn.org  phone:410-964-1230

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is based in New York, has a policy
office in Washington, DC, and local LISC organizations in about 30 metro
areas.  They work with community development corporations, providing
financial and technical support, especially in the area of affordable
housing.  They have special expertise at using the low-income housing tax
credit and getting banks to meet their Community Reinvestment Act
requirements.  (Enterprise also has this expertise). I don't have contact
info for them, but they are generally in the phone book. 

Habitat for Humanity does lots of affordable housing.  They have done some
innovative things in some regions with very energy efficient, passive solar
designs (in an effort to make the homes more affordable in the long run).
 They do mostly new construction, but in urban areas are now trying to do
more rehab.  If you donate them a lot, they will build. . .  Try your local
phone book for your local group or check out  www.habitat.org 

The National Association of Home Builders has a great library with all kinds
of housing info, plus links to various lenders.  They also have a Home
Builders Institute training wing.  www.nahb.com

National Association of Community Development Loan Funds, based in
Philadelphia, represents more than 40 loan funds and development banks around
the country, including Cascadia Revolving Loan Fund in Seattle, South Shore
Corporation in Chicago and Self-Help Credit Union in NC.  An article at
americannews.com/story/ans-54.html has a bunch of contacts.  The money and
expertise of these organizations varies.  Most do economic development and
affordable housing lending and extensive technical assistance.  

Almost every bank has a Community Reinvestment Act Officer.  If you are
considering making housing for low-income folks part of your neighborhood,
making an appointment with the CRA Officer of your favorite local institution
might yield some interesting results.

There's a start anyway.  Most of these organizations know next to nothing
about cohousing (big surprise).  I would also highly recommend looking up the
housing/community development staff in your local government, and the housing
financing agency for your county or state.  They know local needs and much of
HUD's grant money and local housing bond or redevelopment money is controlled
at that level.  

Happy hunting.

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eno Commons
Durham, NC

& Public Affairs/Consumer Relations Officer
U.S. Dept of HUD in NC
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