Build your community partnerships
To make workforce housing work, collaboration doesn’t end with the builder and developer. Richie Butler takes a look at a New Orleans partnership for working families.
To date, CityView has invested more than $700 million to build quality, market-rate homes for working families in 30 communities across 12 states. We thrive, though, because of the partnerships we pursue with builders and developers who can also adapt to the changing demands of a dynamic housing market and the non-traditional partnerships within the building industry who help us find these builders and developers. After all, we have to understand the communities we build in, and that takes time and resources.
CityView partners with builders who design products with the best interest of the community. They also meet deadlines, conform to codes and have a successful sales volume.
We have learned that the most fruitful partnerships recognize what each partner does best and allow each partner to lead in that capacity. Groups such as churches, neighborhood associations, employers, non-profits and educational institutions work everyday to serve their communities.
For this reason, they are able to help the building industry create products with the highest chance of being attractive to the target consumer in that community, and home builders should take note.
Developer Stewart Juneau, far left, and Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, welcome new homeowners Carl and Bertha to the Gates on Manhattan, affordable housing through the New Era program
We have a new partnership we announced earlier this month, and it's a great example of the value of creativity and collaboration with different groups to bring new housing options to a community.
After nearly a year of scouring the nation to find a solution to the housing crisis for working families in New Orleans and its surrounding area, the region's most creative private/non-profit development partnership announced A New Era — the Gates Homeownership Program. The Gates on Manhattan partnership of le Triomphe Property Group, CityView, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, Our Castle Homes, and American Sunrise Homes are making 319 homes available for prices ranging from $72,400 to $108,400.
New Era provides the first large-scale homeownership solution for working families in the area. Thanks to this collaboration, homes are available now for low- to moderate-income working families in a unique partnership that allows families who don't meet the stringent requirements for traditional home loans.
The difference we underscore is that their homeownership rests on terms they can actually afford. The plan gives purchasers the opportunity to move into their homes immediately while repairing any outstanding credit issues and/or qualifying for third-party financing. And meanwhile, they learn to be homeowners and good citizens.
This out-of-the-box partnership comes in light of the current subprime crisis and credit crunch.
Along with our partners, CityView has worked for the past year to find a way to bring the dream of new housing within reach of working families rebuilding their lives in the face of the credit crisis in mortgage financing. For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, this community has mortgage terms that are fair and realistic within their reach.
This partnership marks the beginning of a historic new era in New Orleans.
|Richie L. Butler, CityView partner and senior vice president, national development, oversees investment activities in 45 states. He has more than 13 years of real-estate development and finance experience.|