As a public private community development financial institution, CEDAC’s technical assistance focuses on understanding the interplay between project development and public policy. CEDAC’s staff includes experienced practitioners in the areas of affordable housing production and preservation, and community facility development serving the early education sector. We explored some of these issues in lightning talks at our 40th anniversary event last March. In addition, over the past year, several of our senior staff have shared this expertise in public presentations, and joined leaders and professionals across the country to discuss current and future trends in community development.
In April, Bill Brauner, Director of Housing Preservation and Policy, participated on a panel at CHAPA’s forum, “Meeting the Housing Shortage for People with Extremely Low Incomes.” The event discussed findings from a new study by the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on the current shortage of rental housing available to extremely low income households. Bill’s comments focused on the importance of preserving the long-term affordability of existing housing serving this population, given the risks that the housing could be converted to market. In July, Bill also served as a panelist at the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association’s (NH&RA) Symposium on Preservation Strategies, which focused on creative approaches to meeting the growing need to recapitalize the existing Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and HUD-assisted portfolio. The panel, entitled “State & Local Preservation Solutions,” also included the following speakers: Laura Abernathy, National Housing Trust; Anne Berman, Rhode Island Housing; and Beth Truby, Colorado Housing Finance Authority.
Also in April, Sara Barcan, Director of Housing Development, moderated a panel on the challenges of affordable housing development, at Boston Bisnow’s annual affordable housing conference. Sara led a conversation on what’s needed to produce enough affordable rental housing to keep up with current demand, and emphasized the ongoing lack of housing for our most deeply low-income households. Panelists included Rodger Brown, Preservation of Affordable Housing (); Anthony Fracasso, MassDevelopment; Andy Waxman, The Community Builders (TCB); Mike Fish, Dellbrook JKS; and Fernando Domenech, DHK Architects.
CEDAC affiliate Children’s Investment Fund (the Fund) has also been active in several national discussions this year. In February, Theresa Jordan, Director of Children’s Facilities Finance, served as a panelist for the Enterprise Community Partners webinar entitled “Designing Home & Hope: Pairing Housing and Early Childhood Education Facilities — Case Studies from Boston and Seattle.” Enterprise published the Home & Hope report in 2018 to document the project development process and highlight key issues to consider for co-locating housing and early education and care. The Fund and CEDAC have invested in several of these facilities in Massachusetts. Theresa presented a case study of Brookview House, a program in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood that co-locates afterschool space with affordable housing. Check out the recorded webinar online.
The Fund has continued to collaborate with the National Children’s Facilities Network and the Bipartisan Policy Center in their efforts to call national attention to the need for increased investment in early childhood facilities. “From the Ground Up: Improving Child Care and Early Learning Facilities” released by the Bipartisan Policy Center in May echoes CIF’s findings that the physical environment is an essential component of high quality early education. This spring, Theresa also participated in a live webcast panel presentation sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center that explored opportunities for financing facilities through capacity building, community partnerships and federal and philanthropic engagement. The panel, moderated by Sarah Muncey, Neighborhood Villages, also included Nicole Barcliff, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); Patricia A. Browne, National Children’s Center; Eric Buchanan, Buffet Early Childhood Fund; Erica Mackey, MyVillage; Linda K. Smith, BPC; and Rusty Smith, Rural Studio. Theresa highlighted the Fund’s intensive technical assistance work, training early learning organizations on the facilities development process, and the success of the EEOST Capital Fund. You can watch and download the recorded webinar here.
Finally, Bill Brauner has organized an upcoming forum on October 7 that will discuss how providers can access federal funding to recapitalize existing senior housing developments. HUD has recently released guidance for owners of existing Section 202 properties with Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRAC) who wish to convert PRAC to Section 8 using the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). Thomas Davis, Director of HUD’s Recapitalization Office, will explain how Section 202 owners can use RAD as a preservation tool for their Section 202 PRAC projects. Other speakers will include Dan Rogers, Chief, Asset Management Division, HUD Boston; Emily Cooper, Chief Housing Officer, MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and a panel of elderly housing developers. Click here to register today.
As we look ahead to the future of community development, we are encouraged to see a growing awareness that affordable housing and child care facilities are critical components to strong neighborhoods across the country. We look forward to continuing to participate in discussions and trainings with partners across the country to advance this community development agenda.