“Information without experience is worthless.” –Albert Einstein
We structure our approach to understand your affordable housing challenges and needs. The key is combining local knowledge and data with extensive experience in working with communities on local housing issues – from identifying the housing needed by locals and the workforce, as well as opportunities and strategies to create needed housing and maintain its affordability over time.
Housing needs, opportunities and capacity vary with every unique community – we understand this and work to devise a program grounded in your local issues, concerns and capabilities to help you make smarter workforce housing decisions.
We use both secondary and primary research to collect the information we need to understand your community, where it currently is and where it wants to go. Secondary data is useful to identify broad trends, but we RELY ON PRIMARY RESEARCH to interpret and understand those trends.
Our community outreach may vary for each project, but typically includes:
- Interviews or focus groups with realtors, property managers and local lenders
Only through speaking with locals involved in the housing market on a day-to-day basis can we truly understand what is going on: who is buying, who is not – and why; who is renting, who cannot find housing and what units are missing from the market; where are locals buying and what are they looking for; who can find housing, but cannot purchase it; and what are the common lending issues.
- Interviews, surveys and/or focus groups with employers, employees, local residents, community stakeholders (elected officials, civic organizations, etc.)
Each community participant has a different perspective on issues facing their community and is affected by workforce housing needs in different ways. Understanding their perspectives and how the community can come together to help form solutions lends a richness to our results that are invaluable to our clients.
We love working with clients that are passionate about addressing their housing issues – we want our studies to be used, not just sit on a shelf. Having our clients champion the study and introduce us to the community goes a long way toward recruiting community participation and gaining the trust that, “something will finally be done to address our housing needs.” This also helps educate the community on local housing issues and concerns and can help the community implement programs recommended through our work.
Client assistance that improves the effectiveness of our work typically includes:
- Using their relationships to help incite community participation through interviews, focus groups or surveys;
- Promoting the study through newspaper publications, radio announcements, community center postings and other outreach to improve public education and participation; and
- Discussing and providing feedback on the final product so that we can be sure it meets their needs.
We work with our clients every step of the way and provide the information needed to conduct this outreach and ensure a successful project outcome.