2017 Symposium Industry Report: Pay for Success

handful of labs across the country with the expertise to facilitate local Pay for Success project development tailored to a communi- ty’s needs. •  Community support— Communities and local governments interested in promoting construction of affordable housing may face opposition from neighborhoods who are wary of the con- sequences of promoting low-income housing near their homes. Some worry that property values may depreciate, while other worry about increases in crime and drug use rates. Most of the concerns around affordable housing are unfounded and fail to acknowledge the benefits of having affordably priced, new, and well-built units—occupied by diverse and friendly neighbors—in their communities. Leaders should promote a “yes in my back- yard” approach to affordable housing that champions acceptance and compassion for all community’s members. • Landavailability— Communitiesmust decidewhere to physically build affordable housing units. Despite the financial logic of build- ing properties in the cheapest neighborhoods, studies underscore the importance of placing affordable housing in high-opportunity locations so that inhabitants have greater access to economic and social opportunity, such as jobs, schools, and welcoming commu- nities. PFS financing can help lower the cost of construction and incorporate philanthropic capital to assist developers in choosing a prime location. Local housing authorities and governments, as well as private individuals may consider donating a parcel of land to lower construction costs and keep rents even lower and more affordable. Feasibility Study—The Urban Institute Project Assessment Tool To assist communities interested in using PFS contracts, the Urban Institute has developed a Project Assessment Tool (PAT) to help evaluate the strength of a potential project. This PAT can be used anytime during a PFS project’s imple- mentation to evaluate strengths and weaknesses. The assessment tool is orga- nized into the following components:

• P roblem definition: understanding the issue • P rogram strength: is this the best solution?

• P rovider capacity: evaluating the role of a service provider • P ublic system partners and political landscape: feasibility of financing and implementing a PFS project

Pay for Success & Affordable Housing | Stefano Rumi 45

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