CityHomes on Park, Minneapolis MN --photo courtesy of LHB Inc.
|State governments play an important role in housing, too. They help lower the cost of homeownership through mortgage revenue bond programs and also can allocate their portions of CDBG and HOME funding, along with state matching funds, to areas throughout the state. Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs), a major source of funding for new and rehabbed rental homes, also are allocated at the state level. Some states promote housing and community development through state-run housing trust funds or other funding mechanisms. In addition, states are responsible for allocating a large portion of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to their localities and guiding these localities in developing plans for using these funds to create and preserve affordable housing and stabilize communities wracked by foreclosures.|
Nonprofit organizations have been the sponsors, developers and operators of housing – particularly for low- and moderate-income people – for many years. Some nonprofit community development groups focus on the overall improvement of targeted neighborhoods. Others have as their mission serving vulnerable populations such as the homeless or physically and mentally disabled. Still others are sophisticated housing developers who specialize in putting together multiple funding sources to expand the supply of affordable homes. Housing often is utilized by nonprofits as a platform to provide supportive services such as job training, health care, child care, or transportation. Generally, most nonprofits are committed to making the housing they provide permanently affordable. This means they will be unlikely to opt out of affordable housing programs when market prices rise.
Nonprofits also have the flexibility to participate in unique partnerships. For example, some nonprofits provide housing counseling to the employees of private sector firms that offer employer-assisted housing benefits to their workers. Other nonprofits build close connections with residents of particular neighborhoods, gaining the trust of local residents that may be essential for the success of revitalization efforts. Nonprofits also can work with state and local governments to pool financing for specific housing developments. Or, they can advocate for broader policy changes, such as zoning changes that create more affordable housing opportunities in the communities they serve.