Private and Public Partnerships Build Affordable Housing
While some affordable housing is built or renovated by government agencies, most of the affordable housing activity in Washington County is the product of private developers, primarily nonprofit community development organizations, that obtain project financing from a variety of sources. A given proposed project may reflect in its pro forma anywhere from three to ten loans, grants, and equity investments from local banks, investors, government agencies, and other non-profit partners. Many of these funding sources are competitive, and it make take a year of more before a project that is designed and ready to go secures all the necessary financing. Most funding sources, such as the Community Housing Fund, see their investments leveraged 9-10 times by other dollars in the development budget. Public entities frequently assist with making land available with preferred terms or by reducing permitting fees. Federal funding available for affordable housing has been cut dramatically, increasing the burden on local government and private fund raising to fill gaps. That is one of the roles the flexible funding available from the CHF plays in delivering quality housing products.
Navigating these multiple layers of potential financial support to a favorable outcome is a formidable task, one that the non-profits in Washington County have come to master over the years. The Community Housing Fund exists to promote their work and success in meeting our joint missions to expand housing opportunities in Washington County.