NHPF Annual Report 2022: Supporting Affordable Housing

Service Provision Challenges Top Industry Takeaways from 2022

EVERY YEAR, we ask NHPF leaders and staff to review the past year for lessons we can take into the following year. This helps keep NHPF thriving and successful in fulfilling its mission to provide affordable housing. Interestingly, the takeaways we are reflecting upon most as we work in a fast-paced year of housing transactions, center on the importance, value, and challenge of providing on-site services to the affordable housing rental population. THE NEED FOR SERVICES IN LONG-TERM HOME RENTING According to Zillow, more Americans are renting than any other time in recent history, evolving our notion of the standard renter. NHPF has been at the forefront of expansion into single-family home rentals, as numbers show that a lot of potential buyers who want a traditional home lack the funds for down payments, or in some cases don’t want to be tied down by homeownership. Whatever the reason, our experience shows that long-term home renters do best when the organization from whom they are renting is also providing resident services designed so the renter can flourish in a single-family home neighborhood. SECURING FUNDING FOR ON-SITE SERVICES The industry has benefited from programs that acknowledge the overwhelming importance of “housing first” using every tool in the toolkit to create and preserve affordable housing. However that same financial largesse does not cover the services that would address even more needs meaning that many properties are actually providing ‘housing only’ which perpetuates concentrated poverty and its associated problems. Though solving this conundrum remains a clear challenge for the years to come, with increased fundraising efforts, successful grantwriting, and partnerships with health care companies and others, funding is being secured for these services. INTEGRATING HEALTH INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING We have seen a trend towards more holistic integration of “health” into affordable housing both in terms of physical upgrades (better ventilation, increased opportunities for physical movement, ability to garden on-site) and a focus on trauma-informed community engagement, building, and resident services. This combination of physical and mental health enhancement has been shown to greatly improve quality of life. Research shows that simply living in housing that is truly affordable helps one’s mental health—add in on- site resident services that offer nutrition-based cooking classes, access to fresh fruits and vegetables, fitness programs, and even financial wellness services and the odds go way up for successful resident outcomes. INCREASING PSH (PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING) TO MEET THE GROWING NEED Over half a million individuals are experiencing homelessness in America today, an increase of about 2,000 people since the last complete census conducted in 2020. About one third of people without homes are experiencing chronic patterns of homelessness. Thirty-percent of people who are chronically homeless have mental health conditions and 50% have co-occurring substance use problems. NHPF has developed strategies to increase creation of permanent supportive housing in Houston and the other cities in which we do business. Finding creative ways to fund on-site services at our affordable properties remains an overarching goal for NHPF this year and in those to come.


Eric W. Price, President


Powered by