New Motto for Nonprofit Housing: The Impossible Takes a Little Longer

Nonprofit housing developers are able to succeed at what often seems impossible. Nonprofits all want the projects done faster and better, but is all the well-meaning input from the activists and intellectuals just more mud in in a dragging field?

"Housers catch flak from every side," John Davis writes.

Davis says, "Public funders wonder when nonprofit organizations that build housing for families too poor to buy or to rent on the open market are ever going to get their production counts up and their unit costs down. Private foundations worry whether their grantees will ever become self-sufficient, depending less on them for operating support.

Advocates for tenants demand housing with lower rents. Advocates for persons with disabilities demand housing with accessibility and services. Advocates for the homeless demand housing for the poorest of the poor. Activists in neighborhoods where housers are already at work vociferously insist on lower density and larger units for “responsible homeowners” rather than for subsidized renters.

But not leaving himself free of blame, "And armchair warriors like me blithely chide community land trusts, limited equity cooperatives, and other developers of shared equity housing for not being bolder in sticking up for themselves, trumpeting the virtues of the tenures they champion."

Davis argues, "Housers are, in fact, among the bravest people I know."

Full Story: The Impossible Takes a Little Longer

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