Rehabilitating multifamily affordable housing projects is an important yet complicated part of preserving affordable housing in many locales. Though this process becomes all the more challenging during a pandemic, there are many reasons that the affordable real estate development process has moved forward in Massachusetts and beyond despite these circumstances. Whether existing projects are in mid-construction, have funding commitments that will expire if the rehabilitation doesn’t occur, or have urgent building repairs necessary for tenant safety, developers are tasked with the challenge of determining how to complete their projects while ensuring that residents, construction workers and movers are all protected from infection.
Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) provides national relocation services and resident services to clients focused on affordable, public housing, and mixed-income housing communities. While located here in Boston, Massachusetts, HOU works within large-scale developments across the country from the East Coast to the West Coast. Over their almost 40-year history, HOU has assisted in the relocation of more than 16,000 units in 21 states and Washington, DC. Over the last several months, they have developed a comprehensive safety plan to address the real health and safety concerns connected to relocations that take place during the pandemic.
INSITES recently interviewed Katie Provencher, HOU’s Chief Executive Officer and Principal, and Hannagh Jacobsen, HOU’s Strategic Project Director, about the challenges that affordable housing owners and property managers face while conducting a relocation during this crisis and the ways that their organization has worked to keep residents, HOU staff, and contractors safe during the process. Please watch the interview here.