Investing in Affordable Housing: A Strong Asset Class

daily lives of the people who live in NHPF’s properties. For example, Dorothy Williams had a fam- ily emergency and needed to travel out of state. She spent her rent money on her travel and found herself and her 3-year-old son in danger of eviction. Operation Pathways resi- dent services coordinator (RSC), Adeela, imme- diately helped Dorothy find an agency to pay the rent and late fee. The focus had been: find a solution to the problem, “check the box” for eviction preven- tion, case closed. But based on her training, Adeela adopted a more holistic approach. Dorothy recognized her need for a finan- cial safety net for situations such as these, so she wouldn’t need to spend her rent money on emergencies. Adeela offered financial coach- ing, and Dorothy started working toward that goal. Adeela recognized Dorothy’s strengths — steady work, childcare, a network of friends and family — and Dorothy did the rest. Charles and Gennifer Ratliff represent another shining example of coaching at its best. The couple has built a strong and trust- ing relationship with their RSC, Tiffany, who used Family-Centered Coaching techniques to assess the couple’s readiness to partner with her to help achieve their goals. The Ratliffs worked with Tiffany to uncover short-term objectives to eventually achieve their larger goal of maintaining financial security throughout retirement. Of utmost importance to the Ratliffs was identifying a new, affordable prescription plan that would cover Gennifer’s medication costs to treat the chronic diabetes that has confined her to a wheelchair. Through active listening and asking the right questions, the Ratliffs and Tiffany strategized and found a new, more affordable prescription plan. The couple next worked with Tiffany to create a household budget so they could be ready for future unexpected expenses. In addition, Charles and Gennifer, who previously were socially isolated from other residents, began to participate in commu- nity events and meet their neighbors. Charles started attending weekly fitness classes, and

Charles and Gennifer Ratliff

his doctor soon noted his decreased blood pressure levels. Dorothy and the Ratliffs are perfect exam- ples of the capable, creative and resourceful individuals who live in affordable housing communities. Family-Centered Coaching reminds us that it is not our job to empower residents. In fact, the power already resides in them. It is the purpose of Operation Pathways’ staff to walk alongside these residents as they work toward their goals and coach them along the way. Operation Pathways realizes that recog- nizing and emphasizing residents’ strengths makes us all stronger. v

Kenneth White is vice president, resident services for Operation Pathways.

Copyright © 2020 by Institutional Real Estate, Inc., 2010 Crow Canyon Place, Suite 455, San Ramon, CA 94583. Material may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. The publisher of this special report, Institutional Real Estate, Inc., is not engaged in rendering tax, accounting or other professional advice through this publication. No statement in this issue is to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or other investment.

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A Difference Maker

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