Step 2: Ground Floor
After stakeholders come together on the committee and identify key issues, they should then work on the design of the housing plan. Design involves establishing common goals and priorities for taking action and creating a collective vision for the future of the community's housing ecosystem.
Design also entails selecting important strategies and identifying the roles of partners in implementation. At this phase, partners should identify how they will track data on and measure success.
Members of the committee should collaboratively identify goals for how they want the housing market and ecosystem to function in their community. The goals should craft a vision of what the housing ecosystem should look like when the plan's activities are implemented.
Committee members then choose strategies based on what is most likely to accomplish the groups' established goals and priorities. Once strategies are determined, the group should develop an action plan for each item and identify partners who will be responsible for implementing each action step.
The committee should include representation from all elements of the local housing ecosystem. This could include the following groups:
- Providers of emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness.
- Healthcare providers that work with individuals who have imminent or episodic risks of homelessness.
- Service providers that help stabilize transient residents.
- Housing agencies.
- Non-profit organizations that serves individuals and families with low incomes.
- Landlords of affordable housing units.
- Local governments that regulate land use, housing construction and rental units or provide housing assistance.
- Employers and educational institutions that attract potential new residents.
- Developers of new housing units.
- Lending institutions.
The plans for action must clearly state the roles of all organizations relative to each strategy. All organizations on the committee must have a role in all strategies. Either own, support, or endorse. One organization should take the lead and own each stratagy. Several organizations should support each strategy with funding or in-kind resources. While all other partners shold vocally endorse the work of those owning and supporting each strategy. This creates a braided support network that can help overcome barriers and obstacles to success.
All other organizations involved on the committee should endorse the work of those who own or support a strategy. This creates a braided support network that can help overcome barriers and obstacles to success.
Stakeholders need to establish a tracking and accountability system for each action step, funding source, and strategy in the housing plan. Tracking data on how strategies create change in the housing ecosystem is an integral part of measuring success and identifying which adjustments are needed.
Committee members and partners should commit to providing data on projects and strategies for which they are responsible, and a system for sharing data amongst committee members should be implemented as well to ensure accountability.
Other Design Activities
In the design phase it is important to:
- Identify potential partners who could help implement strategies. Reach out and start building relationships with them by using our Housing Guides on the Resources page.
- Request detailed information on the property, value, and taxes of residential structures from your local assessor's office. Since you will need to explain what you need the information for, you might as well invite them to join the planning effort.
Data & Metrics
Census data for your community and any data generated by local partners, can help lay the groundwork for housing goals, strategies, and metrics including:
- The number of households paying too much for housing.
- Number of permits for newly built homes.
- Value of owner-occupied homes.
- Vacancy rates.
- Owner and renter housing costs.
- Earnings by occupation.
In order to ensure adequate time for partner identification and engagement, design processes can take between six months and one year. Work on goals, strategies, and metrics can be done with the help of a facilitator or collectively in the committee over the course of several meetings.