Sustainable development is high-quality development, but it does not need to be high-cost development. Through creative design and value-engineering, developers can create sustainable communities while maintaining affordability. Key qualities of sustainable housing are that it promotes economic vitality, fosters environmental integrity, and encourages a sense of community today and for future generations. More specifically, such housing should promote health and mobility; conserve energy and natural resources; and provide easy access to jobs, schools and services. It is best to take a holistic approach to sustainable housing that focuses on people instead of buildings.
Financing options for the development of mixed-income and workforce housing are an alphabet soup of loans, grants, and various other programs containing numerous qualifications and restrictions. Developing all types of housing requires in-depth knowledge of these options as well as the ability to stitch a number of them together seamlessly to create a development proposal that pencils out financially. Knowing the myriad funding sources and how to put them together to a make a deal work is the art of housing that is affordable for all.
Depending on capacity and resources, many communities and nonprofit organizations may choose to engage ECHO as the consultant to assess housing needs, planning, and resource development. In the capacity of the Housing Consultant, ECHO will collect and analyze data and information related to a specific housing development and/or the community considering housing options. Working through basic development processes, the development team gains a better understanding of the community needs, the type of housing to focus on, and the resources available.