November 20, 2014

Three P's of Community Transformation

Today’s post is courtesy of Mike Hawkins, Managing Director of VHDA’s Community Outreach division. It originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2014 Community Outreach Report.

Typically, the development and availability of a variety of housing options is an important component in revitalizing and transforming communities. However, the ultimate success of revitalization efforts often hinges on what I call the three P’s of community transformation.

Planning. Consideration of a community’s physical layout and the interaction of existing and proposed community assets.
Patience. Allocation of the time necessary to develop the plan, and identify and assemble the properties and resources essential to the transformation vision.
Persistence. Adoption of an implementation plan that allows for project phasing and sustained progress over time.

In May, I spoke at a ribbon cutting for a community in Newport News that exemplifies the power of the three P’s combined with the positive impact of VHDA financing. This transformation began in the early 1990s with an engaged planning effort by the City and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA). The effort continued with the acquisition of key properties and the sustained development of new housing opportunities. Working block by block, the NNRHA combined local resources with VHDA’s mortgage financing — including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits — and a homeownership education program to develop more than 198 residences serving new homebuyers and renters.

Over the next few months, VHDA’s blog will focus on what can happen when the three P’s are combined with support from VHDA to create sustained transformation. We look forward to the opportunity to forge similar partnerships in your community.
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