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Stability. Security. Opportunity.

IMPACT

strong communities from the ground up


Impact Today, Scale Tomorrow Melora Hiller, Chief Executive Officer

When Cornerstone Partnership and the National Community Land Trust joined forces 18 months ago, we had a collective vision of expanding our impact to more effectively serve our members and promote equitable and inclusive communities. And we’ve been doing just that! At Grounded Solutions Network, our mission is to cultivate communities -- equitable, inclusive and rich in opportunity -- by advancing affordable housing solutions that last for generations. To meet our mission we’ve zeroed in on two specific goals to increase our collective impact: 1. Dramatically increase the number of homes and other community assets with lasting affordability produced by CLTs, inclusionary programs, and other shared equity programs. 2. Support municipalities to adopt and implement policies and programs that lead to more diverse, equitable and inclusive communities. As we look ahead, Grounded Solutions Network will remain focused on these goals while looking for the most strategic and impactful ways to achieve them. We’ll keep you posted on our progress and invite you to join us in this effort.


What’s Inside Impact Today, Scale Tomorrow ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3 Grounded Solutions Network ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 - 5 Our Members

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6 - 11

Capacity Building ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 12 - 25  Strength In Numbers ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 12 - 13  Intersections 2017 - Oakland, California . ............................................................................................................................................................ 14 - 15  Innovative Business Plan Expands Mission......................................................................................................................................................... 16 - 17  More Homes, Lasting Affordability .............................................................................................................................................................................. 18 - 21  From Albuquerque to Albany Park................................................................................................................................................................................ 22 - 23  Expanded Representation......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 24 - 25 HomeKeeper .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 26 - 33  HomeKeeper: Building a Data Driven Sector ................................................................................................................................................. 26 - 29  What Does the Data Mean Anyway? ......................................................................................................................................................................... 30 - 33 State & Local Policy............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 34 - 39  The Future of Detroit........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 34 - 35  Ten Ways to Talk About Inclusionary Housing Differently............................................................................................................ 36 - 39 Research .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 40 - 41  New Inclusionary Housing Research.......................................................................................................................................................................... 40 - 41 2016 Funders............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 42 Leadership .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 43


Strong communities from the ground up. strong communities from the ground up

Our Story We’re Grounded Solutions Network, a national nonprofit membership organization, launched in 2016. We bring together an extensive network of partners and member practitioners from local communities who have a deep understanding of best practices in community land trusts, shared equity housing, local housing policies such as inclusionary zoning, and more. At Grounded Solutions Network, we know what policies and strategies work to build and preserve housing opportunities, and we help communities use them. Together, we agree that when communities are diverse and equitable, everyone benefits. It starts with a stable home. We promote housing solutions that will stay affordable for generations, so communities can stabilize and strengthen their foundation, for good.

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Our Mission

Grounded Solutions Network cultivates communities – equitable, inclusive and rich in opportunity – by advancing affordable housing solutions that last for generations.

Our Vision

We seek a future where everyone has access to a home they can afford in an economically and racially diverse community of opportunity, fostering better health, academic and economic outcomes.

Visit

GroundedSolutions.org

Contact

Hello@GroundedSolutions.org 503.493.1000


Our Approach Our experience has shown us that positive change happens when strong housing policies and programs are in place. Our members and clients are in different locations, geographically, and in their needs. We meet them where they are and guide them to where they want to be.

Research Collective Learning

We conduct research that provides the empirical basis for our work and explores emerging ideas.

We connect people to share best practices, overcome challenges and nurture innovation and new approaches.

Policy Change

Tools & Resources We provide the building blocks that strengthen housing programs so homes can stay affordable for generations.

We work with policy makers, elected officials and their staff at all levels to explore options and provide policy solutions. Preserve Community Assets

Steward Affordable Units

Members (Practioners)

Support Residents

Technical Assistance Design Strong Programs

Advocate Locally Adopt Policies

Clients (Cities)

Assess Local Needs

We identify solutions and share best practices to help programs succeed.

Assess Feasibility

Our Programs Our holistic and practical programs connect communities with tools and strategies that have been proven to work, enabling practitioners and policy makers alike to create impact and bring about the change they seek.

Capacity Building We’re the leading providers of technical assistance, training, tools and resources for many kinds of affordable homeownership programs. We help our members and partners take the long view, fine tuning their programs for maximum impact and developing new technology to help better manage data and programs.

HomeKeeper With our innovative technology solution, we help housing professionals streamline the way they manage and report on their homeownership program data so they can more efficiently run their programs and measure their impact.

National Policy We know that national policies have a critical impact on the ability of members to succeed. We analyze public policy, coordinate private-public partnerships, build coalitions and make strategic connections to improve the policy environment for local programs.

Research We champion research projects on best practices, innovations and industry results to better serve our members’ needs and advance the field. We bring together researchers, academics and graduate students, from all over the country to publish and distribute emerging research in various publications.

State & Local Policy We help communities understand and assess the housing policy options available to them and provide technical assistance to adopt sound strategies and implement them effectively.

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Our Members Organizational Types 9 (6%)

Local Government Community Land Trust Local Government

7 (5%)

13 (9%)

28 (19%)

Other Nonprofit

Community Land Trust

Other

Other Nonprofit

89 (61%)

Other Individual Member Individual Member

Member Units by Type

33,038 Cooperative Units

15,628 Rental Units

20,147 Homeownership Units . . . . | . . . . |. . . . | . . . . | . . . . | . . . . |. . . . |

68,861 Residental Units Stewarded by Members 6


See the next page for a complete list of our 2016-2017 Members (as of 12/31/2016).

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Visit our Membership Page to learn more about the benefits of membership.

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Our Members At the heart of our work is a national network of members who we serve and work in partnership with to influence and impact communities. When we foster connections and share best practices, it helps us all work more effectively. Building connections is one of the key ways we work to advance the national movement towards equitable communities. The following organizations solidified their commitment to working together to create inclusive communities during our innaugral year as Grounded Solutions Network. Thank you for joining forces together to increase our collective impact. The members listed here are active members as of December 31, 2016 and are designated by the following marks: l New Organizational Member in 2016-2017 n Legacy Members - 10 years of Membership t HomeKeeper User

24:1 Community Land Trust Albany Community Land Trust Allegheny Land Trust l Andover Community Trust, Inc. n A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) n Arch Community Housing Trust Athens Land Trust, Inc. Avenue Community Development Corporation l Berkeley, CA (City of) l Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust Blaine County Housing Authority l Block 52 Preservation Trust l Bottoms Up Collective l Bright Community Trust Cambridge, MA (City of) t CASA of Oregon Casas del Pueblo Community Land Trust Center for NYC Neighborhoods Centre County Housing and Land Trust Centro Cultural de Mexico l Champlain Housing Trust n t Charm City Land Trusts, Inc. Chinatown Community Land Trust City First Homes t City of Boulder Division of Housing

(as of December 31, 2016)

City of Lakes Community Land Trust n t Coalition of Occupied Homes in Foreclosure Colorado Community Land Trust n t CommonSpace Community Land Trust Community Home Trust n Community Land Trust Associates Australia Community Land Trust Association of West Marin (CLAM) n Community Land Trust of Palm Beach County, Inc t Community Partners for Affordable Housing n Community Wheelhouse, Inc l Cooperation Jackson Crescent City Community Land Trust, Inc. t Dakota Land Trust n Decatur, GA (City of) Delray Beach Community Land Trust Diamond State Community Land Trust n t Dublin, CA (City of) l t Dudley Neighbors, Inc. Durham Community Land Trustees, Inc. l Fideicomiso de la Tierra del Caño Martín Peña l First Homes Properties n Flagstaff, AZ (City of) Flagstaff Townsite Historic Properties Community Land Trust Frederick County Affordable Housing Land Trust Gaithersburg, MD (City of) l Goose Creek Neighborhoods l Greater Frogtown Community Development Corp Growing Together l Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation Habitat for Humanity New York City Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville l Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County t Heartfelt Florida Housing South Palm Beach Community Land Trust t Hello Housing l t HHOC Housing and Land Trust l Home Trust of Skagit n t Homes Within Reach n Homestead Community Land Trust n t Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County n t Housing Nantucket l Housing Resources Bainbridge n t Houston, TX (City of) l HRDC District IX, Inc. Irvine Community Land Trust Island Housing Trust Corporation n t 9


Our Members Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha Choctaw Indians l Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative Kulshan Community Land Trust n Lawrenceville Corporation l t Lexington Community Land Trust Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. t Lopez Community Land Trust n Lowcountry Alliance of Model Communities Lowcountry Community Land Trust Alliance Lowlander Center l Macon Arts Alliance, Inc. l Madison Area Community Land Trust n Magic City Agriculture Project Mammoth Lakes Housing, Inc. l Middle Keys Community Land Trust n Minot Area Community Land Trust Moab Area Community Land Trust

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(as of December 31, 2016)

Montgomery County, MD Department of Housing and Community Affairs Morris Habitat for Humanity t Mosaic Community Land Trust Mountainlands Community Housing Trust Na Hale O Maui Community Land Trust n t Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland n t NeighborWorks Provo l Newtown Community Development Corporation t North East Housing Initiative Northern California Land Trust t North-Missoula Community Development Corporation Northshore Housing Initiative Oakland Community Land Trust Of People and Land Community Land Trust (OPAL) n t


One Roof Community Housing n t Open Buffalo l Park City Municipal Corporation People of Color Sustainable Housing Network l Pima County Community Land Trust Proud Ground n t Provo, UT (City of) l READI, LLC l ReDesign Reading CDC l Reno Sparks Neighborhoods l Renting Partnerships Revitalize Community Development Corporation l Right to Live Well l Rochester Regional Community Land Trust Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust n t Row House CDC San Diego Community Land Trust San Juan Community HomeTrust n t San Mateo, CA (City of) t Sawmill Community Land Trust n t SHARE Community Land Trust Upper Valley MEND n Sitka Community Land Trust

South Florida Community Land Trust Springfield Community Land Trust t State College Community Land Trust n Storehouse of Hope l T.R.U.S.T. South LA n Tenants to Homeowners, Inc. n The Housing Fund - Nashville, TN t The Maggie Walker Community Land Trust l The Valley Home Store; Eagle County, Colorado l t Thistle Communities n Thomas Jefferson Community Land Trust Trust Montana Two Rivers Community Land Trust n t Uniondale Community Land Trust, Inc. United Workers Urban Homesteading Assistance Board - UHAB Urban Land Conservancy Utah Housing Coalition l Watauga Community Housing Trust Waterville Community Land Trust Windham & Windsor Housing Trust t Women’s Community Revitalization Project Yellow Springs Home, Inc. n t

The Northwest CLT Coalition’s 2017 gathering, sponsored by Grounded Solutions Network.

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GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | Capacity Building

Strength in Numbers CLT coalition was key to achieving equitable taxation in California. Equitable taxation on homes subsidized by community land trusts has long been an issue across the U.S., especially in states like California, where exceptionally hot housing markets lead to skyrocketing property taxes and increased financial pressure on low-income homebuyers. “This is something that you will probably hear from CLTs across the country: CLT homes haven’t been taxed the way they should be,” said Francis McIlveen, director of operations and development of the Northern California Land Trust, located in Berkeley and a member of Grounded Solutions Network. In many cases, homeowners of a CLT-subsidized house are taxed at market rate, despite CLT ground-lease resale restrictions that won’t allow the homeowners to ever tap into the full market value of that home. The result is expensive property taxes that add hundreds to monthly housing costs, and in some instances, force homeowners to sell back their home to the CLT simply because they can no longer afford it. “This has been a huge issue affecting Community Land Trusts in California and the low-income homeowners we serve across our state,” McIlveen said. Early last year, a group of California CLTs decided to do something about it. The group was assembled by the Irvine CLT in Orange County, which in 2015 had approached the California legislature about an amendment to the state’s taxation policy, but they gained little ground. Knowing there would be strength in numbers, the Irvine CLT reached out to its counterparts across California. The response was swift, and 15 CLTs from all regions of the state joined forces to form the California Community Land Trust Network in order to tackle the equitable taxation problem together. In January 2016, the group drafted a legislative platform, and with the help of a professional lobbyist, aggressively advocated for change to the state’s revenue and taxation code. In September, the bill passed through the legislature and was signed into law. Effective January 2017, the new law requires county assessors to consider the impact of the CLT 99-year ground lease on the value of the home when assessing property taxes. “This particular achievement grew out of a very real problem impacting the affordability of homes throughout our state,” McIlveen said. “It’s amazing that we all came together on this on an ad hoc basis, and within nine months from drafting the platform, we had a law.

This particular achievement grew out of a very real problem impacting the affordability of homes throughout our state. — Francis McIlveen, Northern California Land Trust

“This was very much a group effort of the state’s Community Land Trusts,” he continued. “Everyone supported it and took part in any way that they could. It’s a real testament to the power of grass roots efforts.” This wasn’t the first time the group of California CLTs came together on common ground. For the past several years, the 15 CLTs have met face-to-face annually to exchange ideas, discuss policy and address shared challenges. In fact, the idea for the collaborative equitable taxation advocacy effort first began to take shape at the group’s statewide gathering in 2015. Financial support from Grounded Solutions Network helped make the annual meeting happen. “Grounded Solutions Network has awarded us a small grant each year to cover some of the hard costs of our statewide meetings,” McIlveen said. “That extra money has been a great help in our ability to get together as a statewide group each year.” The annual meeting sponsorships were part of Grounded Solutions Network’s Technical Solutions Fund program. Through this fund, Grounded Solutions members can apply for technical assistance services, training delivery, peer exchange stipends and grants.

Learn more about issues affecting affordable housing in California and beyond at Intersections 2017, in Oakland, CA this October! Learn more NOW>

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The California CLT Network bands together to advocate for equitable taxation in 2016.

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Join us this fall in ...

Oakland Oakland

Conference Information

Intersections 2017 October 9 - 12

Intersections 2017 • October 9-12 Event Highlights Cross Discipline Learning

Bay Area Deep Dive

Grounded Solutions Network’s annual conference is the go-to source for professional development within the CLT and shared equity fields. Thinking bigger, we aim to build “intersections” across broader disciplines and practices. In 2017 we will offer over 50 sessions and seminars designed to assist shared equity practitioners, advocates and allies in building strong programs and equitable communities across the nation.

An affordability crisis is rocking the San Francisco Bay Area - the tech-boom and resulting gentrification of deep-rooted communities raises critical questions about the future of the region. Who gets to live there? Who benefits from the real-estate boom? These same challenges and opportunities are happening in other communities nationwide. We’ll spend a day exploring what’s working and what’s not as the Bay Area strives to move forward - and empower conference attendees to take these lessons home to their own communities.

IGNITE! Awards Attendees will be inspired by our 3rd Annual IGNITE! Awards and presentations. Practitioners will share their innovative solutions to develop and preserve inclusive communities - and the coveted “audience choice” award will be given to the most impactful pitch.

Lake Merritt - Oakland, CA

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International Representation We’ll be introducing our new role as North American lead for the Social Production of Habitat Platform an opportunity to elevate our member’s effort to build and steward permanently affordable housing as international models of sustainable housing.


8:00a

9:00a

10:00a

11:00a

1:00p

12:00p

2:00p

3:00p

4:00p

5:00p

Monday 10/9

Organizational & Financial Sustainability Opening Reception hosted by our Bay Area host: Bay Area Consortium of Community Land Trusts

Community Land Trusts: Basics & Beyond Stewardship (Day 1) HomeKeeper Boot Camp Inclusionary Housing: Make it Work in Your Community Resident Summit

Wednesday 10/11

Tuesday 10/10

City - CLT Partnerships

Welcome to Oakland: Breakfast Provided

Breakfast Provided

Keynote Address and Opening Plenary

IGNITE! Community Pitch Fest

The Cooperative Model and Movement

Making CLT First Mortgage Financing Work

What is Opportunity?

Stewardship (Day 2)

Plenary Session Deep Dive

Lunch Provided

Resident Engagement

Building a Movement of Movements

Inclusionary Housing in Mixed Market Cities

Preserving the Affordable Rental Housing Stock

Addressing the Missing Middle

The International CLT Movement

Collective Control of Land in Community Dev.

Sucessful Organizing Using the CRA Act

Coping with Displacement

Permanently Affordable Housing: Truths & Myths

Updating Your IH Policy

Urban Agriculture

Roots of the CLT

Filling the Gaps in Federal Funding

Community Land Trust: Community of Practice Gathering

Inclusive Communities Toolkit

Lunch Provided

Nuts & Bolts of Equitable Taxation for CLT Homes

Strategies for Neighborhood Revltalization

Challenging State Preemption Laws

Federal Policy Housing Landscape

Community Land Trusts: Basics & Beyond

Designing and Evaluating Resale Formulas

Moving Towards Lasting Affordability

Film: Arc of Justice & Gaining Ground

Film: Arc of Justice & Streets of Dreams

Grounded Solutions Network Reception join us outside for our urban beer garden!

Inclusionary Housing: Community of Practice Gathering Habitat Affiliate Affinity Group Gathering

Thursday 10/12

Commercial Gentrification and Displacement

Breakfast Provided

Closing Plenary:

Inclusive Leadership

Lessons and Inspirations from the Bay Area

Community Benefit Agreements Comprehensive Housing Plans & Policies

Don’t leave yet ... join us for a tour of local housing programs in the Bay Area. (More tour details available online NOW)

Data: Impacts Beyond Outputs Passing Your IH Policy: Coming to Consensus

Don’t Wait - Make Your Hotel Reservations TODAY! Rooms are available now for Intersections 2017 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Book your room by 9/1 - Our conference rate of $189/night (+tax) is available 10/7 - 10/13.

We’ve heard that 90 minutes isn’t nearly enough time to dive deep into some of the complexities of our field. This year we’re dedicating two full days to this content, allowing attendees to get more out these sessions!

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GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | Capacity Building

Innovative Business Plan Expands Mission Business Plan Coaching Helps Proud Ground Move Social Venture to Market.

After all, you can have a great idea that makes perfect practical sense, but if you miss an important component in your business plan, that idea can tank.”

Real estate agents are key players in the success of community land trusts. Some CLTs even have them on staff to help facilitate the buying and selling of CLT homes. Proud Ground, a CLT-based organization in Portland, Oregon, is using their in-house real estate expertise in an enterprising way, and it’s leading to big gains for both Proud Ground and the community they serve.

Beyond a business plan, the experience left Proud Ground with something else: confidence they could make it happen.

In 2015, Proud Ground launched a full-service real estate firm, Proud Ground Community Realty, as a new line of business for the organization, becoming Oregon’s only non-profit real estate brokerage. “We already had been licensed in real estate brokerage for several years, primarily to conduct the CLT real estate transactions,” said Tyler Koski, real estate broker and project manager at Proud Ground. “We had the systems in place, so why not open our real estate services to the public and help buyers and sellers in the open market, while creating an additional revenue stream for our land trust?” In 2014, Proud Ground turned to Grounded Solutions Network for help converting the business idea into reality. The CLT applied for assistance and was competitively selected as one of 10 organizations across the nation to participate in Grounded Solutions Network’s Business Planning Fellowship. With a focus on social venture business planning, the fellowship was designed to support established affordablehousing programs who wanted to increase sustainability and advance their missions in new ways. The program connected Proud Ground with business planning consultants, who guided Proud Ground staff through creating a business plan to expand their real estate services to the open market. During the year-long process, they assessed the market, developed costs and revenue projections, considered marketing strategies and set a timeline for launching the new line of business. “The fellowship gave us an important forum to build a thoughtful and feasible business plan,” said Diane Linn, executive director of Proud Ground and a Grounded Solutions board member. “It’s not a difficult concept to expand on services you already have, but this intensive planning process got us to focus on the details.

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“The fellowship was really invaluable and instrumental in the early-stage planning for opening Proud Ground Community Realty,” Koski said. “Before we could open this new line of business, we needed to go to our board of directors for approval. Having a solid business plan in place made it viable and not just an idea in our heads.” In Proud Ground Community Realty’s first full year in 2016, the non-profit real estate brokerage facilitated 12 closings

... You can have a great idea that makes perfect practical sense, but if you miss an important component in your business plan, that idea can tank. — Diane Linn, Proud Ground

and generated approximately $100,000 in revenue in commissions earned. Commission proceeds are split between the CLT’s operating budget and a pool of subsidy funds that directly support permanent affordability in the community. “We far exceeded our expectations for our first year,” Koski said. One reason for its success, Koski explained, is that as a social venture, the non-profit brokerage is a unique alternative for people who want to buy or sell a home and make a difference in their community at the same time.


Proud Ground Community Realty’s signs are popping up in all corners of Portland, OR.

“In our area, there’s definitely a significant section of the homeownership and homebuying consumer base that is community minded and believes in the social benefit of nonprofit work,” Tyler said. “It’s a pretty easy choice to make… if you’re going to be paying for real estate services anyway, you can get fantastic service from Proud Ground, while also supporting affordable homeownership in our community.” Koski said Proud Ground is one of few CLT-type organizations in the nation to also operate as a non-profit real estate brokerage. He encourages others to explore the option. “There is a real need for what land trusts provide, but there never seems to be enough subsidy or funding to make it happen,” he said. “By being creative, CLTs can create value for communities and potentially find really powerful ways to generate subsidy for permanently affordable homeownership.”

Interested in business planning or other support for your established affordable housing program? Learn more about our Technical Solutions Fund for members NOW> 17


GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | Capacity Building

More Homes, Lasting Affordability Kulshan Community Land Trust and Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s Successful Partnership. Kulshan Community Land Trust—in partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County—will soon break ground on its largest development yet in Bellingham, Washington. The Telegraph Road Townhomes project will deliver more than 50 affordable two- and three-bedroom homes over the next five years for families in the community. The homes are located in an amenity-rich neighborhood with access to transit, providing an important resource for residents in Whatcom County facing significant increases in housing costs while wages remain stagnant. Through the partnership, potential homeowners who earn up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI) can qualify to purchase a home in the development one of two ways: working with the Habitat for Humanity to complete at least 500 hours of sweat equity toward building a home; or securing financing and a small down payment to purchase a home from the Kulshan CLT. “This partnership allows Kulshan to do what it does best and likes to do, and allows us to do what we do best and like to do,” said John Moon, executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County. The partnership between the two organizations began in 2012, when Habitat was focused on building outside of the City of Bellingham in smaller, rural communities in Whatcom County. At the same time, the Kulshan CLT, which had more experience working within the city, was looking for opportunities to use available funding in rural areas. The two organizations joined forces to leverage each other’s expertise and built their first homes together in a rural area. The collaboration allowed Kulshan CLT to fully utilize their funding, while providing additional resources for Habitat to build more homes in a development already in progress.

This partnership allows Kulshan to do what it does best and likes to do, and allows us to do what we do best and like to do. — John Moon, Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

homeowner’s mortgage in half, it just means that we can serve so many more people.” The partnership has been thriving since, but it hasn’t come without challenges. Moon and Dean Fearing, Kulshan CLT executive director, both acknowledged that it took the better part of a year for them to establish trust and fully understand each other’s model. “Any time you bring different cultures together…it’s like speaking different languages,” Moon said. One of the key reasons their partnership has been successful is that the two executive directors worked together early on to build trust within their relationship. They also educated their respective boards of directors and currently bring together staff and board members regularly as part of their development committee for their current Telegraph Road Townhome project. They invested time in establishing the partnership and sought to truly understand each other’s models and motivations.

Moon said he realized that “if we’re going to build in Bellingham, then the land trust model has to be one of the tools in our toolbox… At the end of the day, when it cuts our

“One of the biggest reasons [our partnership] has succeeded is the strong relationship John and I have established,” said Fearing.

Jenee Gaynor, Grounded Solutions’ Capacity Building Senior Specialist interviewed Dean Fearing and John Moon, and supports our CLT - Habitat Partnership initiatives.

The executive directors noted that the primary factor in their strong partnership is that they share a vision: to work together to serve more families, while fulfilling each organization’s individual mission.

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Painting in progress during a Mother & Daughter Paint day, held as a part of the build for Dawn Hubbard, her daughter Brynne (bottom right) and Brynne’s daughter. The Hubbards were the first family to move into a Habitat-Kulshan CLT home in 2011. They moved from an apartment above an auto repair garage riddled with black mold, exhaust fumes and outdated wiring to their new home, where they are happy and hope to stay indefinitely.

Advice for Your Partnership

Partnerships between community land trusts (CLTs) and Habitat Affiliates are in progress across the country. If you are exploring a CLT-Habitat partnership (or any other partnership), here are a few key takeaways from our interview with John and Dean, as well as other lessons learned from the field. 1. Take your time to build trust. Consider opportunities to get to know your counterpart and build relationships among staff and board members whenever possible. Many partnerships show initial promise; however, staff or board transitions slow or even halt progress if multiple parties have not built a relationship or fully understood the value of the partnership.

2. Focus on understanding each other’s model and mission without judgement. While Kulshan CLT and Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County approach providing affordable homeownership in different ways, with different core values, they ultimately seek to provide more affordable housing in their community. Different approaches do not need to imply judgement

– sometimes they are just different. When leadership recognizes this and is willing to identify areas of compromise, both partners can come out on top, together.

3. Bring something to the table. In this particular partnership, Kulshan CLT initially brought funding to the table, while Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County brought expertise in developing homes in the rural part of their joint service area. Over time, these roles evolved and changed on a project-by-project basis, but a fundamental rule of collaborating is that each partner must bring something valuable to the table.

4. Relationships require ongoing maintenance. It’s important to remember that building trust initially won’t last forever. Staff and board member transitions, new partnership opportunities, shifts in organizational or funding priorities, and external influences may all impact how a partnership goes from good to great or from good to bad. Continue to do the important relationship- and trust-building activities – meet regularly, share organizational updates, take time to truly understand each other, and do not assume that nothing has changed from project to project to ensure ongoing success. 19


Construction in progress of the first Kulshan - Habitat partnership home, completed in 2011.

“It comes back to serving significantly more families at prices that are more affordable by partnering with Habitat as the builder,” Fearing said.

“Our land pipeline, which was one of the things we thought was going to cut us off at the knees, was a big problem solved,” Moon said.

The biggest hurdle in creating the partnership was learning and working within each other’s model. Early on, the organizations worked with a consultant to negotiate a detailed addendum to Kulshan CLT’s standard ground lease. It handled the obvious aspects of the partnership, such as providing first Habitat and then Kulshan CLT first right of refusal at resale. The agreement also addressed the not-soobvious details, such as explicitly limiting the possible annual increase of the ground lease fee to 1.5% (the same annual increase in appreciation available to the owner) to comply with Habitat’s core value of not profiting from the poor.

“This is allowing us to serve more families by partnering together,” Fearing added.

The partnership has led to big benefits for both Habitat and Kulshan CLT. In fact, both organizations report that they are now able to plan further into the future and are expecting to build more affordable homes in the next eight to 10 years than ever before—meeting an important need in Whatcom County.

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Learn more at www.kulshanclt.org and www.hfhwhatcom.org, download the 2017 Shelter Report or check out Grounded Solutions Network’s Resources for in-depth information on Habitat affiliates and permanent affordability models.


Affordable For Good:

Building Inclusive Communities Through Homes that Last Habitat for Humanity’s 2017 Shelter Report, Affordable for Good: Building Inclusive Communities through Homes that Last, provides important insights into the Habitat for Humanity model, as well as guidance on how permanent affordability is compatible with it. The report, written with support from Grounded Solutions Network, highlights the importance of combining a unique tenure model that allows homeowners and nonprofits to share in the appreciation of an affordable home, with stewardship and support activities that ensure the home and homeowner are secure for the long term. It emphasizes how a well-crafted program can maintain affordability at resale, while simultaneously providing an opportunity for

homeowners to build wealth at a rate of return significantly higher than if the homeowner had instead invested their down payment in the stock market. The report also underlines the way that permanently affordable homeownership models help to build inclusive communities – when homes are affordable for the long term, they remain affordable as a neighborhood becomes popular and rents rise, ensuring that residents of modest incomes can remain in an economically diverse community. Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization program shares the goal of engaging citizens, partnering with civic and business groups, and creating a renewed community spirit in neighborhoods they serve through this program.

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GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | Capacity Building

From Albuquerque to Albany Park Peer Exchange Helps Casas del Pueblo Community Land Trust Take the Next Step in Community Ownership. Albany Park, on the northwest side of Chicago, is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country—with more than 70 percent of neighborhood residents in households of color with roots in Mexico, Central America and Ecuador*. Over the past decade, the neighborhood has changed dramatically. According to the 2016 report, Displacement in Albany Park, at least 200 and as many as 600 households— between 1,000 and 3,000 men, women and children—were displaced from Albany Park in 2015. This type of displacement has become a growing problem in the neighborhood over the last decade, largely due to the bank- and investor-owned properties resulting from the foreclosure crisis. When investors take ownership of a property, they quickly evict existing renters. With this happening more and more throughout the neighborhood, opportunities to move from one property to another within Albany Park have become limited and, increasingly, investors were the most powerful actors within the community. Around 2012, neighborhood residents began to ask the radical question: What if we—the ones who live, work, shop and go to school in Albany Park—controlled our neighborhood? With support from an Albany Park community center operated by the Mexico-US Solidarity Network, a non-profit organization in Chicago that works to address economic and social issues in immigrant communities, Albany Park residents collected and analyzed neighborhood and industry data to understand what was happening with bank- and investorowned properties. They discovered it would be more cost effective for banks to donate properties to a neighborhood non-profit rather than go through a lengthy foreclosure process. These property donations would be a win for the bank and a win for the community. The Mexico-US Solidarity Network had even formed its own community land trust, Casas del Pueblo, as a potential recipient of bank-donated properties.

*Source: Mexico Solidarity Network

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We worked to identify a viable solution that could change their community landscape and empower residents to make things happen in their own neighborhood. — Connie Chavez, CLT Leader & Consultant

Despite the solid data, banks were reluctant to donate troubled properties to the new CLT. In 2015, with no bank-donated homes, Casas del Pueblo CLT staff, volunteers and Albany Park residents realized they needed to revamp their approach. They looked to Grounded Solutions Network for assistance moving forward. In 2016, Casas del Pueblo was awarded the opportunity to participate in Grounded Solution’s Emerging CLT Initiative, which offers business and strategic planning support to community groups or new community land trust organizations. “We applied for the program because we had high hopes for developing an innovative CLT,” said Tom Hansen of the Mexico-US Solidarity Network. As part of the program, Grounded Solutions sent CLT expert Connie Chavez—former executive director of the Sawmill Community Land Trust in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and longtime leader within the National Community Land Trust Network—for a two-day visit to Albany Park. She toured the neighborhood, met with CLT staff and volunteers, and helped them evaluate the viability of a new CLT structure. “The purpose of my visit was to help them understand the nuts and bolts of a land trust: what it is, how it’s important to


Casas de Pueblo CLT hopes to combat displacement in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood.

the community, and how CLT tools could be utilized to address homeownership issues in Albany Park,” Chavez said. Drawing on her experience leading a CLT that was formed out of a neighborhood organizing campaign, Chavez helped Casas del Pueblo identify opportunities and challenges, critical partners and potential funding sources for their work. Together, they brainstormed strategies for building new bridges and awareness for the Casas del Pueblo CLT and developed an action plan for next steps. “We worked to identify a viable solution that could change their community landscape and empower residents to make things happen in their own neighborhood,” Chavez said. “It won’t happen overnight— it takes time—but the long-term benefits will be fruitful.” Today, armed with Chavez’s recommendations, Casas del Pueblo is working to build a CLT that will better serve the community’s needs.

“We very much appreciate Connie’s visit, and we hope to begin implementing some of her ideas beginning this fall,” Hansen said.

Through site-visits, webinars, tools, resources and scholarships, the Emerging CLT program has assisted more than 30 start-up CLT organizations. Learn more NOW> 23


GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | Capacity Building

Expanded Representation Our Resident Ambassador Program expands to 32 residents from 19 member organizations, spanning 15 states. Grounded Solutions Network welcomed 15 new Resident Ambassadors in early 2017 - expanding its efforts to create a cadre of residents trained to share their firsthand experiences purchasing and living in permanent affordable housing. These leaders were all nominated by member organizations to participate in our Ambassador Initiative, supported by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. They join our existing ambassadors, bringing our resident representation to 32 individuals,

from 19 member organizations, spanning 15 states. Together they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Grounded Solutions Network: they’ve all been homeowners or cooperative shareholders for 1-30 years; they have volunteered at annual member events, and they have served on their organization’s board of directors and homeowner associations.

Learn how shared equity homeownership has changed the lives of our Resident Ambassadors. View their stories NOW>

Amanda Helgeson

Cynthia Johnson

Ardath Church

Dina Melic

Bob Robbins

Eric Oldmixon

Byron Mitchell

Eros Belliveau

Carla Stanley

Jackline Mukiibi

Cathleen Tong

Joel Edgar

Chinmayo Ricketts

Kenneth Demus Sr.

Claire Marlin

Ken’yale Demus

Park City Municipal Corporation Community Home Trust Champlain Housing Trust Lexington Community Land Trust OPAL Community Land Trust Yellow Springs Home Inc San Juan Community Home Trust Park City Municipal Corporation

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OPAL Community Land Trust San Juan Community Home Trust CLT Association of West Marin OPAL Community Land Trust City of Lakes CLT

Dakota Land Trust Lexington Community Land Trust Lexington Community Land Trust


Some of the Resident Ambassadors gathered in D.C. this May for our 2017 Hill Visits.

Kirrena Gallagher Athens Land Trust

Linzie Norman

North-Missoula Community Development Corp.

Maia Yip

San Juan Community Home Trust

Michele Baker

Lexington Community Land Trust

Nico Candelaria

Sawmill Community Land Trust

Nidia Elisa Pacho

Oakland Community Land Trust

Paula-Noel Macfie Proud Ground

Rachel Hooper

Champlain Housing Trust

Rhonda Palmer

Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs

Ron Hunt

Park City Municipal Corporation

Shannon Milliman Proud Ground

Shekinah Samaya

Oakland Community Land Trust

Valerie Roberts

Albany Community Land Trust

Vicki Hill

Delray Beach Community Land Trust

Yesika Arevalo Proud Ground

Yuki Yamasaki

Bright Community Trust 25


GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | HomeKeeper

HomeKeeper: Building a Data-Driven Sector Spreadsheets and more spreadsheets. For One Roof Community Housing in Minnesota, this traditional method of managing the organization’s large amounts of affordable housing information simply wasn’t working. “We had a number of different Excel spreadsheets that individual employees would keep up on their own that pertained to their own needs,” said Julie Petrusha, the housing development coordinator for One Roof Community Housing. “We’d spend an enormous amount of time trying to track and locate data.” They knew there had to be a better way. That’s when they found HomeKeeper. With this powerful web-based tool, One Roof Community Housing can now track their data and manage their complex housing information all in one place. No more complicated spreadsheets. The tool also allowed them to create meaningful and custom reports with a few simple steps. “When I printed the first report and showed it to our finance director she was thrilled, indicating it was the best and most precise information that we have ever had in one report,” Petrusha said.

A Bottom-Up Solution One Roof Community Housing’s data management challenge is a familiar problem. Across the nation, non-profits and local governments that manage affordable home ownership programs struggle with how to efficiently manage data and produce quality reports on the impact of their hard work, without further burdening already over-worked staffs. HomeKeeper, a program of Grounded Solutions Network, offers an innovative solution this age-old problem. Built in the cloud on the popular Salesforce.com platform, HomeKeeper is a web-based application that helps affordable homeownership programs track, manage and report on housing data. HomeKeeper improves efficiencies

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and effectiveness for community land trusts, Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and other organizations that are creating and monitoring homes with ongoing affordability restrictions. The real beauty of the HomeKeeper, said Tiffany Eng, program director for HomeKeeper, is that the solution was built from the bottom up with direct input from the people who use it. “Together with our partners, we designed and built HomeKeeper from the ground up in response to what the sector needed and wanted,” Eng said. “We didn’t set out to build a software product, we were trying to solve real problems, while at the same time, help programs use evidence to better understand what works.”

We didn’t set out to build a software product, we were trying to solve real problems, while at the same time, help programs use evidence to better understand what works. — Tiffany Eng, Grounded Solutions Network

Making Jobs Easier and Programs Better HomeKeeper is designed around the daily workflow of a homeownership program administrator. The cloudbased app can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device to capture and manage valuable data on homes, homeowners, loans and grants, transactions and more. Users can instantly pull from this data to not only help run their daily operations, but also to measure and report on their progress and impact in the community.


HomeKeeper provides both online and in-person trainings to assist users.

“Whatever data we need to track for grants, funders or reports, HomeKeeper can make it easier,” said David Ogunsanya of Athens Land Trust in Georgia. For instance, Athens Land Trust uses HomeKeeper to track individuals who are interested in their program. Ogunsanya said he groups prospective homebuyers by income, and when a property becomes available in their price range, HomeKeeper allows him to quickly run a report and contact the group with information about the home. “It’s much easier than running through a million spreadsheets and papers,” he said. In addition to tracking homebuyers, number of homes sold, households served and other traditional metrics, programs can use HomeKeeper to track and report on more revealing metrics, such as the return on investment for sellers, the growth of community investment over time, and the extent of affordability created by the program. “HomeKeeper steps up users’ ability to manage a program successfully. It’s a gamechanger,” Eng said. “They are able to be a data-driven organization, answer questions more quickly, and share their story faster and more effectively with all of their stakeholders, including board of directors, funders, policymakers and homeowners.” Released to the public in 2012, HomeKeeper has grown to 70 participating organizations. This includes 36 community land trusts, 14 Habitat for Humanity affiliates and five cities.

HomeKeeper helps me do my job. It helps me do everything from qualifying families, to managing resales, to attracting grants. Having access to such a powerful tool has revolutionized the way we’ve done our business, and it’s really changed it so that we not only do things more efficiently, but we do them better. — Julie Brunner, OPAL Community Land Trust

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Julie Brunner, housing manager for OPAL Community Land Trust in Washington state, said HomeKeeper has changed the way her organization does business. “HomeKeeper helps me do my job. It helps me do everything from qualifying families, to managing resales, to attracting grants,” Brunner said. “Having access to such a powerful tool has revolutionized the way we’ve done our business, and it’s really changed it so that we not only do things more efficiently, but we do them better.” In addition to improving programs with better data, HomeKeeper serves as a community of networking and support for affordable homeownership programs. “In addition to supporting our users, we are working to build a community by connecting users to each other so they can share challenges, ideas and solutions,” Eng said.

In early 2017, HomeKeeper became a HUD-approved counseling management system. This feature allows affordable homeownership programs, which also provide housing counseling, to track counseling activity in HomeKeeper, eliminating the need to use a secondary system for reporting to HUD and other funders. Eng said the new feature is an example of how HomeKeeper continues to respond to what affordable homeownership programs want. “It’s always about the users and how we can support them and their programs,” she said. “The housing counseling features had been a long-standing request from some of our users. We heard them, and we used their input and feedback to expand HomeKeeper to better meet their needs.”

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In its most recent release, HomeKeeper has significantly expanded its housing counseling features and added the ability to report quarterly data directly to HUD. The result? HomeKeeper is the first HUD approved Client Management System (CMS) built on the powerful Salesforce.com platform.

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HomeKeeper’s Latest User-Driven Enhancement: Housing Counseling

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Expanding HomeKeeper for housing counseling programs had been a long-standing request from HomeKeeper users, who actively manage their homeownership and affordable housing programs in Salesforce. Since existing counseling systems do not integrate with Salesforce or HomeKeeper, data entry is often redundant and cross-program coordination is challenging.

Now, HomeKeeper users can track housing counseling workshops and one-onone counseling alongside their homeownership activities, eliminating the need to managing programs in HomeKeeper and use separate excel documents or a secondary data system to reporting to HUD and other funders.

Built by Housing Counselors HomeKeeper built its new supplemental housing counseling features with the help of an advisory group of eight users that manage both homeownership programs, and housing counseling programs. With their guidance, HomeKeeper’s features have expanded in order to help counseling agencies: • • • • •

Consolidate data systems that create data silos between programs Reduce time spent auditing files and preparing quarterly reports Standardize program administration among program staff Increase flexibility of data collection and reporting Transition away from aging legacy systems and manual spreadsheets

Taking Housing Counseling to the Next Level In addition to the homeownership program management features, HomeKeeper’s new supplemental housing counseling features include the ability for programs to: • • • • • • 28

Have a holistic view of a household’s enrollment into different services and programs over time Collect standard intake data on clients and their households across programs Track counselor activities, time and professional development trainings Quickly audit files for completeness and correctness Send quarterly reports directly to HUD View counseling progress and activities in customizable dashboards and reports


The Big Picture By using HomeKeeper, organizations are doing much more than improving their own programs; they are collecting valuable data that can help affordable homeownership programs throughout the nation. “HomeKeeper is part of our ambitious effort at the local, regional and national level to not only improve program management practice, but also collectively measure impact,” Eng said. When an organization joins HomeKeeper, its account is linked to the HomeKeeper National Data Hub. A subset of the organization’s HomeKeeper data is automatically forwarded to this national database, which seamlessly aggregates the data to create public reports on the sector’s collective social impact. The data hub also generates individual benchmarking reports that allow HomeKeeper members to compare their performance to the averages of their peers. “The data from our users makes a round-trip journey, adding value to their programs and the sector as a whole as it is aggregated, analyzed and then shared back with users,” Eng said. “

If you are an organization that tracks large amounts of information related to affordable housing, please do not give HomeKeeper a second thought - just do it. — Julie Petrusha, One Roof Community Housing

The HomeKeeper National Data Hub has detailed information on almost 6,000 properties and data on more than 7,300 purchases. This data is used to measure shared outcomes, as well as to identify and promote industry standards and best practices across the affordable homeownership sector. The hub data also provides valuable sector insight for informing policy and research that benefit programs across the U.S. For example, in 2016, HomeKeeper Hub data was used to help convince the Federal Housing Finance Agency to incorporate shared equity homeownership as part of the its Duty to Serve rule that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase lending to underserved homebuyers. “The sector as a whole benefits from the HomeKeeper National Data Hub,” Eng said. “Newer organizations (startups) can tell their stakeholders and funders, ‘Here’s how programs like ours have helped communities across the country.’ Larger, high-capacity organizations can extract actionable insights and make program adjustments to maximize impact.” HomeKeeper is helping to shape the future of the national sector, and for the participating HomeKeeper organizations, it has proven to be an essential tool in their daily effort to ensure affordable housing is an option for all families. “If you are an organization that tracks large amounts of information related to affordable housing, please do not give HomeKeeper a second thought—just do it,” said Petrusha of One Roof Community Housing. “The amount of administrative time it will save you in the end will be worth your while.”

HomeKeeper makes your job easier and your programs better. Learn more NOW> 29


GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | HomeKeeper

What Does the Data Mean Anyway? When we built HomeKeeper, we set out not only to develop a cloud-based application that would make the day-to-day job of managing an affordable homeownership easier (see story on P. 28), but also to create a tool that would collectively measure the impact of homeownership programs nationwide.

The HomeKeeper National Data Hub does just that. As organizations track their daily housing activities, HomeKeeper automatically pulls this data into a centralized hub of nationwide housing information. Using the HomeKeeper National Data Hub dashboard, organizations can view sector-wide reports with benchmarking data that allows them to compare program performance to their peers; and the public—including policymakers, researchers and policymakers—can view aggregated sector data and gain valuable insights to improve affordable housing programs in all corners of the U.S.

Standardizing a Sector, One Apple at a Time When Grounded Solutions first began developing HomeKeeper, there were no standard data collection practices or definitions, and programs measured outcomes in different ways. We knew it wouldn’t be enough to just create an annual survey or national portal for programs to report impacts. Given the diversity of programs and data practices, doing so would have been a lot like comparing apples to oranges.

Tiffany Eng, Director of HomeKeeper Tiffany leads the development, marketing and support of HomeKeeper and its National Data Hub. She is passionate and actively involved in creating family friendly housing in the Bay Area and beyond. Connect with Tiffany NOW> 30

Our first step was to develop a standardized way to manage and collect housing data across the sector. We led a year-long process with program staff, industry stakeholders and researchers from around the country to identify the types of data that HomeKeeper would collect and to determine how this data would be reported to HomeKeeper users and the public. Through this process, we established a standardized list of data fields, data-management practices and shared program performance indicators that were integrated into the HomeKeeper program. By incorporating these standards into their daily program operations, users could align their data collection practices with other programs. For example, Homekeeper now standardizes the way users track homeowner demographics and developed a system for certifying applicant income and eligibility. It also allows programs to input and track market rate values and affordable restricted prices over time.


HomeKeeper helps standardize practices across the sector, and it enables us to collect and report on more accurate and consistent program data than ever before so now we can compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. — Tiffany Eng, Grounded Solutions Network

By standardizing data collection and reporting, HomeKeeper not only helps programs manage their dayto-day activities more efficiently, but also ensures that staff collect the same program data in the same way as their co-workers and peers in similar organizations across the nation. HomeKeeper helps standardize practices across

the sector, and it enables Grounded Solutions Network to collect and report on more accurate and consistent program data than ever before—so now we can compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges.

Providing a Big-Picture Understanding As a dynamic and growing dataset, the HomeKeeper National Data Hub supplements formal one-time research and evaluation reports that have guided our understanding of program success in the past. And it provides programs with real-time feedback on how their program outcomes compare to their peers. As of April 2017, the Hub’s public dashboard consolidates detailed data from 54 organizations and 80 affordable homeownership programs across the country. There are over 6,000 permanently affordable homes, and more than 7,400 home sale transactions involving the investment of $451 million in public subsidy in all regions of the country. While it does not represent all shared-equity programs, it’s the largest existing data set of shared equity programs. The data aggregated in the HomeKeeper National Data Hub expands the sector’s understanding of the impact of affordable homeownership programs in their communities. It offers a broad overview of how well these programs are doing in their missions to expand access to homeownership and balance the need for wealth creation and affordability preservation across diverse local housing conditions and changing markets.

HomeKeeper’s National Data Hub is designed to help policymakers, researchers, and practitioners assess the performance of the sector overall, and drill down using the customizable filters in order to answer specific questions about how performance varies across a diversity of market conditions, program types, regions, and demographic profiles.

How Much has the Community Invested? 6,384 purchases $1,319 M

$866 M

$453 M

Total Market Values

Total Subsidized Prices

Total Community Investment

Refresh Date: June 5, 2017 Dataset includes: 7,464 purchases from 79 programs

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Industry Data

Program Data

Proving the Value of Affordable Homeownership Programs Traditionally, programs have measured success by the number of homes sold, the number of households served, and the total dollars invested in home and buyers. The HomeKeeper National Data Hub dashboards takes impact reporting to a new level and shows compelling data on the effectiveness and importance of these programs in communities. For example, current data in the Hub provides strong evidence to support the following:

Programs are serving buyers that might otherwise not be able to afford to purchase a home. The typical affordable home had a value of more than $187,000 on the market but was sold for $124,000 (a 33.6 percent discount). This discount meant that overall, homes that would have been affordable to households earning at least 73.5 percent of an area’s median income were now affordable to households earning 55 percent of median income.

Affordability is preserved for multiple generations of buyers. The typical home sold in these programs is slightly more affordable on resale than it when it was initially financed. On average, these shared-equity homes initially sold for a price that was only affordable to households earning 55.2 percent of area median income. On resale, they sold for a price that was affordable to households earning 53 percent of area median income.

Homeowners are building wealth. Homeowners are building wealth in shared equity programs. With an initial down payment investment of

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{ The data expands the sector’s understanding of the impact of affordable homeownership programs in their communities. — Tiffany Eng, Grounded Solutions Network

just over $2,300 at purchase, the typical buyer received back $7,119 in retired principle, and $6,600 in appreciation. The gain alone, excluding the retired mortgage principal, was significantly more than what they could have earned had they invested their down payment in the stock market.

Shared equity programs offer a reliable path to sustainable homeownership. Homeownership is often a risky investment for low-income homebuyers, but most of the home buyers (94%) in the HomeKeeper programs either still own their homes or went on to purchase another home. While sellers may not be able reap the full benefits of market appreciation on their homes, the data in the hub shows that these programs do protect a household’s investment during dips in the market cycle. In particular, seller returns on their resale restricted homes exceeded market rate returns during the period of 2011 to 2015.


Improving program design HomeKeeper National Data Hub provides social impact reports that help affordable homeownership programs assess their own impact relative to their peers. HomeKeeper creates feedback loops that naturally encourage program staff to identify areas of strength and improvement. Once challenging questions like these are now being answered in real-time:

Is the data complete and accurate? Seeing the data in visual dashboards motivates program staff to revisit data collection practices, review outliers and correct mistakes, and collect more data. With more accurate data, programs have better information about their properties and homeowners and are more confident in reporting outcomes.

Is the resale formula working? It has been traditionally difficult to evaluate resale pricing formulas. HomeKeeper helps programs understand which homes gain or lose affordability when they are resold. Programs can benchmark their rate of affordability preservation to the aggregate data in the Hub, where 62 percent of all resales manage to preserve affordability. Over the last seven years, HomeKeeper has shown what is possible when technology and sector-wide collaboration intersect to realize a shared vision. We have cultivated a more data-driven sector by standardizing and simplifying the data collection process, and discovered the many ways in which better data leads to better decisions both externally and internally.

•

Is the program reaching the right buyers? HomeKeeper helps programs better understand the household demographics and assess their reach to underserved markets. Programs can use detailed demographic trends in the applicant pool to refine program outreach methods and strategies.

Is the program pricing the homes for the buyers they intend to serve? The Social Impact Report helps programs understand the extent homebuyers can afford their homes without being cost-burdened. On the other hand, it also clarifies whether or not programs are over subsidizing their homes and the expense of serving more owners with the same subsidies.

HomeKeeper’s National Data Hub helps evaluate how affordable homeownership programs are meeting the needs of communities around the country. Learn more NOW>

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GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | State & Local Policy

The Future of Detroit President Trump’s proposed $6 billion cut to the HUD budget builds on years of depleting federal funding for the agency. HUD is a critical source of local funding to assist lowincome residents in paying rent, accessing affordable mortgages and avoiding homelessness. The deep cuts to HUD’s budget drastically hinder the ability of communities to meet growing needs amidst a nationwide affordability crisis, let alone sustain existing housing and community development programs. Now more than ever, state and local governments must work to support and supplement critical housing programs—such as Housing Choice vouchers and public housing. The consequences of such budget cuts are even more complex and distressing in cities like Detroit, Michigan. The cascading effects of over 50 years of population

decline, massive disinvestment, job loss, redlining and exclusionary housing policies pose a complicated set of dynamics that Detroit must address. Today, Detroit faces thousands of vacant housing units, nearly 40 square miles of vacant land, depressed home values and low property tax revenues—despite having one of the highest effective property tax rates in Michigan and the U.S.

Detroit’s decline, although extreme, is emblematic of the crisis affecting a number of older industrial communities in the U.S. — Zach Murray, Grounded Solutions Network

Detroit’s decline, although extreme, is emblematic of the crisis affecting a number of older industrial communities in the U.S. For Detroit leaders, the central challenge is to redevelop the city in a way that is beneficial to all of its residents, ensuring inclusive growth and lasting affordability. We believe Detroit can—it will—and we are doing our part to make it happen.

Zach Murray, State & Local Policy Specialist

Zach works with our State & Local Policy team to support sound housing strategies nationwide. Zach recently relocated to his hometown of Baltimore where he is dedicated to putting his experience to work. Connect with Zach NOW> 34

For the first time in 50 years, the number of renters now exceeds the number of homeowners in Detroit. This is in part the result of what many uphold as evidence that Detroit is finally turning a corner. Detroit is experiencing its largest wave of development in decades in Downtown and Midtown Detroit. However, the majority of the hundreds of new multi-family rental units are largely concentrated in 7.2 square miles and has yet to expand into the other 130 square miles where vacancies and blight persist. Another explanation behind the rise of renters is that, since 2008, the city has experienced an unprecedented foreclosure crisis. As a result, thousands of Detroit’s predominantly single-family housing units have shifted from owner occupied to renter occupied. The shift to a renter-led housing market means Detroit must address a new set of challenges, including the quality of the rental stock and the affordability and


The challenges in Detroit are immense, but the will to move forward is great.

stability of homeownership in the city. The scale of the challenge—combined with a depressed housing market, political barriers and limited funding given the city’s recent emergence from bankruptcy—has motivated Detroit leaders to turn to creative and innovative methods to meet the city’s affordable housing needs. Many housing policy tools are most applicable to robust, high-cost markets—with strong enough markets to capture value and a strong enough tax base to pay for various initiatives. However, Detroit is making strides to address the need for affordable rental housing, despite a lack of access to the full toolkit of options due to financial and legal barriers. Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department (HRD) is currently developing a formal housing strategy to prioritize and guide the city’s adoption and implementation of various inclusive housing policies. Grounded Solutions Network is leading efforts with HRD to develop a strategy to preserve existing affordable housing in Detroit. State law, which effectively bans mandatory inclusionary housing, and market conditions that limit the feasibility of an inclusionary program to Downtown and Midtown, pose serious challenges to effective and impactful inclusionary housing in Detroit. Still, the city is pushing ahead with a voluntary inclusionary housing program, where developers receiving tax incentives are nudged to provide 20 percent affordable housing at 80 percent of the area median income. There are cities with stronger markets in states without bans that are doing a lot less to leverage marketrate developments.

Declining real estate values in much of the city also severely challenge homeownership in Detroit. Despite very low home prices, nearly three-quarters of the buildings in Detroit predate 1960, and many require significant rehabilitation that often far exceeds the value of the home. In response, the city and a number of banks have introduced several innovative products, including the Detroit Home Mortgage Program used to help finance the rehabilitation of homes throughout the city. A number of community groups in Detroit are exploring the community land trust (CLT) model to help support neighborhood revitalization efforts. Storehouse of Hope has launched the city’s first CLT and is working with Grounded Solutions Network to build their capacity to run a successful CLT and support other social ventures in Detroit. The challenges in Detroit are immense, but the will to move forward is great. Ultimately what happens in Detroit will be instructive to cities all across the country.

Stay informed about our work in Detroit and other cities across the country. Subscribe to our newsletter NOW> 35


GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | State & Local Policy

Ten Ways to Talk About Inclusionary Housing Differently Inclusionary housing policies require or incentivize market-rate developers to set aside a small percentage of the apartments or homes within their new developments. The developers must rent or sell those units at a lower price to low- or moderate-income households.

Inclusionary housing is in a new era. In the 70s, 80s and 90s, inclusionary housing (also called inclusionary zoning) policies were adopted by hundreds of municipalities across the country. Most early adopters of inclusionary housing were similar in three ways. One, these communities had high housing costs and robust development activity. Two, they were relatively progressive, usually with a democrat-majority voting public. Three, most of these programs were adopted in states that have laws to incentivize inclusionary housing policies and mixed-income housing development - including California, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Today’s political and economic context for inclusionary housing adoption is different. Affordable housing used to be part of the social safety net for those in dire need, like food stamps or Medicaid. But as more and more middleincome earners find themselves struggling to afford a decent home, affordable housing policies are no longer primarily anti-poverty strategies. In hot markets like San Francisco, even families who earn as much as 200 percent of the area median income can’t afford housing. And in more typical markets like the Twin Cities, families with average salaries still struggle to buy their first homes – and many simply can’t.

Sasha Hauswald, Director of State & Local Policy Sasha leads our housing policy work with municipalities nationwide. She is passionate and engaged in fair and equitable housing issues, particularly in her home town of San Francisco. Connect with Sasha NOW> 36

Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Newark and Detroit are all currently examining potential inclusionary policies. — Sasha Hauswald, Grounded Solutions Network


A growing interest

Skeptics and myths

Policymakers in moderate and softer markets are turning to inclusionary with curiosity. City leaders in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Newark and Detroit are all currently examining potential inclusionary policies. They represent a growing interest among cities that have traditionally been able to offer affordable homeownership opportunities to their blue-collar resident base without any special policies.

Times have changed, but many people haven’t adjusted the way they talk about affordable and inclusionary housing to fit with today’s circumstances. As a result, in many cities, growing interest in inclusionary housing policies has been met with widespread misperceptions and resistance. Recent curiosity in inclusionary housing barely gained momentum before skeptics and powerful opponents began to dominate the discourse and shut down efforts for adoption. In the past two years, statewide preemption against local adoption of inclusionary housing policies has been proposed in Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arizona.

These cities delivered, for many years, on the promise of the American dream. Then the industrial jobs left, economies slowed and workers left. In the decades of decline, housing values and costs also dramatically dropped. Although foreclosure, abandonment, blight and disinvestment were common to these cities, high housing costs were not. Now, between the flight of young families from super-expensive hot-market cities, an influx of millennial renters drawn to the urban core, losses of homeownership during the foreclosure crisis, and deterioration of the single family home stock due to abandoned and REO properties, the rents and homes for-sale have become—for the first time in memory— unaffordable for “regular” people. City leaders in Nashville, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta, Bloomington and Durham are also examining potential inclusionary policies. They represent a trend amongst politically moderate cities within more conservative states that traditionally lacked the political will to impose restrictions or requirements on business activity, including development. As it becomes cost prohibitive for young people to buy, or even rent, near their relatives, inclusionary housing has become palatable to a broader swath of the political spectrum in Southern and Midwestern cities.

Critiques of inclusionary housing are often based on widespread myths, such as: • It’s not fair for developers to shoulder the burden of providing affordable housing. • Inclusionary housing, just like other bureaucratic impediments to development and restrictive zoning rules, ultimately raise housing costs for everybody. • Inclusionary housing requirements will make new housing developments financially infeasible, thereby killing the fragile but recovering housing market. Grounded Solutions Network, as well as RAND, the National Housing Conference, the Furman Center, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and numerous academic institutions, produce research that rebut these myths (see page 39 for links). However, resistance to inclusionary housing adoption remains strong.

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1) Use a different name.

Changing the Narrative

We need to talk about inclusionary housing in a different way that circumvents common misperceptions and creates a new narrative for policymakers in moderate markets and more conservative political climates. Here are 10 messages to help frame the way you talk about inclusionary housing differently. Not every message is right for every community; advocates and policymakers should tailor these messages to their circumstances.

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The words “inclusionary housing” or “inclusionary zoning” raise red flags in many communities. Call it something else. Name examples include moderately priced dwelling unit program, reasonably priced housing program, smart housing mix policy, mixed income housing, SMART Housing, workforce housing, and density bonus policy. These are a few of the names that have been adopted by cities, but be creative, choose something that will connect with your local audience.

2) A trade. Inclusionary housing is a value exchange between the local jurisdiction and developers. Viewed this way, it is a fair deal for developers. Developers are expected to produce housing aligned with community interests in a variety of ways: by building homes that fit in, by ensuring adequate parking and greenspace, and by contributing to the need for reasonably priced homes (not just luxury apartments). In exchange for meeting community needs, developers are granted the right to do business and often many other benefits. Inclusionary benefit packages typically include incentives like additional height or density, reduced parking requirements, fast-tracked processing, fee waivers or tax benefits. These benefits reduce the overall cost per unit to build.


3) Place matters.

8) One tool in the toolbox.

Research consistently shows that children do better when they grow up in a mixed-income community rather than a high-poverty one. In fact, your zip code is a better determinant of your future than your genetic code (Chetty and Hendren, 2017). Unfortunately, most naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH), as well as most government supported affordable housing, is in lowincome neighborhoods. Inclusionary housing is one of the only policies proven to create lower-cost housing in high-opportunity neighborhoods with good schools. (RAND Institute, 2012). Inclusionary policies give more kids realistic access to the American dream.

Inclusionary housing should be implemented as one tool in the toolbox. Alone, it cannot solve local affordability challenges, but it does offer unique value and complements other local housing policies and strategies. Additionally, inclusionary housing policies are most effective in stronger housing markets —very soft markets should look to other tools first. It is important to acknowledge the limitations of inclusionary and not frame it as a panacea.

4) Streamline barriers to development. Many jurisdictions have zoning code requirements that are so complex that it is nearly impossible to build anything without lengthy and unpredictable approval processes. Inclusionary done right can reduce procedural barriers to new development. Affordable housing requirements are often adopted in combination with areawide up-zoning or enhanced flexibility to build, “by-right”, a reasonably profitable multifamily building. In these cases, inclusionary housing programs can actually increase development activity. Most importantly, inclusionary housing policies establish clear and predictable expectations that local developers can plan around.

5) Housing near jobs and transit. Policymakers and organizations who are passionate about housing should align efforts with the local business community, environmentalists or public-transit enthusiasts. Inclusionary is a great tool to create workforce housing near job centers and transit corridors. Messages that inclusionary housing policies reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commuting, retain a stable base of local employees, and increase transit ridership can build alliances across policy silos. Beyond the realm of issuefocused policymakers and advocates, this message also reinforces the idea that inclusionary housing does not merely benefit a few lucky families, it benefits everyone in the community.

6) Missing middle housing. Most inclusionary housing programs serve renters between 50 percent and 80 percent of median income and homeowners between 80 percent and 120 percent of median income. These families and individuals do not typically qualify for federally or locally supported housing programs, and they do not earn enough to afford market-rate housing prices either. Inclusionary housing is one of the few ways to create “missing middle” housing.

9) Customizable. Inclusionary housing is one of the most highly customizable housing policies that exist. It can be tailored to work across a large region or a specific commercial corridor. It works to create units in very hot markets and in moderate and mixed markets. It can meet the needs of middle-income families or low-income singles. Yet, with the ability to tailor inclusionary also comes a challenge. Inclusionary must be carefully calibrated to work in the context of local market conditions and existing policies. Inclusionary housing policies that are sloppily designed backfire. They fail to produce units and give inclusionary a bad name.

10) Built-in neighborhood stability. As moderate- and mixed-market cities begin to see areas with new development activity, and our population continues to grow, these burgeoning neighborhoods are likely to become more expensive over time. By implementing inclusionary housing policies early (but not too early), policymakers bake-in affordability and economic diversity for the long-run. It is important (and also a common national practice) to ensure that inclusionary housing units have long terms of required affordability, like 50 or even 99 years, to ensure that the policy can work as a bulwark against future displacement.

Myth-Busting Resources Will Inclusionary Housing Prevent Development? Grounded Soutions Network - InclusionaryHousing.org

Separating Fact from Fiction in Research on Inclusionary Housing Programs Lisa Sturtevant - LisaSturtevant.com

7) Conservation of scarce public resources. Public funding for housing has been declining for decades, and in the current political climate, will probably continue to shrink. New affordable housing development can require over $200,000 of local investment per unit. Inclusionary housing is one of the few ways to create reasonably priced housing without significant public subsidy. Jurisdictions can adopt inclusionary housing without draining the general fund.

Learn more about the advantages and challenges of Inclusionary Housing on our new resource website - InclusionaryHousing.org 39


GROUNDED SOLUTIONS NETWORK | Research

New Inclusionary Housing Research Grounded Solutions Network has undertaken the largest study of inclusionary housing policies to date. The study identifies 886 jurisdictions with inclusionary housing programs in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

created with the $1.7 billion in fees collected for the production of affordable housing.

581 jurisdictions reported creating 122,320 affordable rental units.

164 jurisdictions reported an additional 2,100 affordable homes.

Here are a few highlights: Nearly half—45.26%—of inclusionary housing programs or policies are in New Jersey, while 26.75% are in Massachusetts and 16.82% are in California. These places have state-wide inclusionary housing policies or state policies that promote the local adoption of inclusionary housing policies. Preliminary findings indicate that a total of $1.7 billion in impact and/or in-lieu fees was reported by 373 jurisdictions. Jurisdictions reported creating a total of 173,707 units of affordable housing, which excludes additional units

40

443 jurisdictions reported creating 49,287 affordable homeownership units.

Many jurisdictions did not report on their fees or units, and some only partially reported this data. As a result, these numbers substantially underestimate totals for the entire inclusionary housing field. Additional findings on program characteristics and national trends will be published in a working paper by Emily Thaden, Ph.D. and Vince Wang, Ph.D. at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy later this year.


Municipalities with an Inclusionary Housing Policy or Policies Counties with an Inclusionary Housing Policy or Policies (including Washington D.C.)

Esri, HERE, DeLorme, MaymyIndia, Š OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS user community

Vince Wang,

Emily Thaden,

Research Manager

Director of National Policy & Sector Strategy

Vince leads our research activites on permanently affordable housing. He is passionate about ensuring families have access to housing in opportunityrich neighborhoods.

Emily directs our national policy activities and drives our sector strategy. She is actively involved in housing issues in Nashville, where she serves on the MDHA Board of Commissioners.

Connect with Vince NOW>

Connect with Emily NOW> 41


Thank You! Grounded Solutions Network is incredibly grateful for the generous support of our funders and partners who make our work, and our Network, possible. We couldn’t do our work without the transformative support of The Ford Foundation. In addition, the following national partners made significant contributions to Grounded Solutions Network in 2016.

Foundations & Corporations Catholic Campaign for Human Development Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Open Society Foundations The Heinz Endowments Citi Community Dvelopment Wells Fargo Foundation NeighborWorks Amercia Enterprise Community Partners Freddie Mac Fannie Mae

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Leadership 2016 - 2017 Board of Directors Robert Burns, Chair City First Homes / City FIrst Enterprises Tony Pickett, Vice Chair Urban Land Conservancy Robert Dowling, Treasurer Community Home Trust Jaimie Ross, Secretary Florida Housing Coalition

Diane Linn Proud Ground

Tamar Shapiro Center for Community Progress

Mardie Oakes Hello Housing

Brenda Torpy Champlain Housing Trust

Melinda Pollack Enterprise Community Partners

Sarita Turner PolicyLink

Christopher Ptomey Habitat for Humanity International

Jeffery Yegian City of Boulder

Maria Benjamin City of San Francisco Lauren Counts Capital Impact Partners Sandy Fernandez MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth

Staff Melora Hiller Chief Executive Officer Rachel Silver Chief Operating Officer Adam Abraham Member Communications Specialist Elizabeth Bain Training Coordinator Amanda Bennett Administrative Assistant Jenn Daly Director of Communications Tiffany Eng Director of HomeKeeper Jenee Gaynor Capacity Building Senior Specialist

Jessica Grant Operations Manager Liz Haney HomeKeeper Senior Specialist Sasha Hauswald Director of State & Local Policy Hong Ly Director of Operations

Larry Rose Technology Solutions Specialist Beth Sorce Director of Capacity Building

Zach Murray State & Local Policy Specialist

Emily Thaden Director of National Policy & Sector Strategy

Stephanie Reyes State & Local Policy Manager

Ruoniu (Vince) Wang Research Manager

Valerie Rogers HomeKeeper Specialist

Jason Webb Capacity Building Specialist 43


Visit GroundedSolutions.org

Learn More MyHomeKeeper.org InclusionaryHousing.org

Contact Hello@GroundedSolutions.org 503.493.1000

2017 Impact Report  

Highlighting our collective effort to advance permanently affordable housing nationwide.

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