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Note: This evaluation is accompanied by a blog post by the RAND Corporation about the initiative. Access these related materials here: https://www.macfound.org/press/grantee-publications/evaluation-investments-energy-efficiency-through-window-opportunity-initiative.
In the late 1990s, there was growing concern that the significant portion of subsidized rental homes that were coming to the end of their initial subsidy period would not obtain renewed subsidy and that the amount of affordable rental housing for low and middle-income families in metropolitan areas would fall to even lower numbers. Responding to this escalating concern, the MacArthur Foundation identified preservation of the existing stock of affordable multifamily rental housing as a pressing need. Consequently, the Foundation launched the Window of Opportunity: Preservation of Affordable Rental Housing initiative in 2000. The initiative would expand to become a 20-year effort, during which the Foundation awarded $214 million in grants and loans to a wide range of organizations including non-profit owners of affordable rental housing, state governments, researchers, financial institutions, industry associations, and advocates.
By 2011, the Foundation and its Window of Opportunity borrowers and grantees had increasingly recognized that energy costs of multifamily rental properties could be better controlled. To this end, the Foundation opted to extend Window of Opportunity with an explicit focus on increasing the energy efficiency of subsidized and unsubsidized multifamily affordable housing. Between 2012-2015, the Foundation awarded $27.5 million through 39 grants or loans as a part of what we term the Window of Opportunity - Energy Efficiency. The loans were Program-Related Investments, which were low-interest loans to create new business models or grow mission-oriented businesses. The Window of Opportunity - Energy Efficiency activities comprised a little over 10 percent of the overall $214 million Window of Opportunity initiative.
Indian Land Tenure Foundation;
This ninth issue of the Message Runner discusses on fractionation of ownership title and provides ways for effective land management.
Reinvestment Fund (TRF), The;
The BLOCK by BLOCK study is based on what Reinvestment Fund calls a "Market Value Analysis" -- a tool designed to help private markets, government officials and philanthropy identify andcomprehend the vitality of local real estate markets.
By using the analysis, public sector officials, non-profits/philanthropy and private market actors can more precisely craft intervention strategies in weak markets and support sustainable growth in stronger market segments.
The Market Value Analysis (MVA) looks at communities at the Census block group level to discover the variations of housing market health, stability and opportunity in neighborhoods. It is based fundamentally on local administrative data sources.
The analysis focuses on residential real estate because, neighborhoods are – first and foremost – places where people live.
The analysis then overlays other elements – job clusters, mortgage financing, rental evictions, resident displacement risk, life expectancy, etc. – to provide a more complete picture.
The analysis is done at the Census block group level because even within discreet neighborhoods there can be significant variation. By identifying pockets of opportunity or concern early, communities can effectively "draft" on market forces or act before problems expand.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
It is ten years since we were at the peak of the financial crisis — the collapse of Lehman Brothers, an investment bank. This sent tremors throughout the world, and media outlets began talking about a return of the Great Depression. While the fear generated by politicians and media was able to get enough support for saving the financial industry, the country was left to deal with the painful fallout from a collapsed housing bubble. Millions lost their homes and jobs. Even a decade later, by some measures, most notably prime-age employment rates, the labor market has still not recovered.
This discussion makes several points concerning the bubble and its collapse. First and foremost, it argues that the primary story of the downturn was a collapsed housing bubble, not the financial crisis. Prior to the downturn, the housing bubble had been driving the economy, pushing residential construction to record levels as a share of GDP. The housing wealth effect also led to a consumption boom. The saving rate reached a record low. When the bubble burst, it was inevitable that these sources of demand would disappear and there were no easy options for replacing them, except very large government budget deficits.
Heartland Alliance National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity;
Implementing the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model boosts employment outcomes for transition-age youth facing barriers to employment. LifeWorks, a non-profit organization serving transition-age youth and their families in Austin, TX, realized that workforce models popular within the youth development field may not address the significant and complex challenges faced by their participants. LifeWorks staff began to look toward behavioral health approaches to employment and discovered the Individual Placement & Support model. This case study discusses how IPS offered LifeWorks a new approach to workforce support for youth that might better address the types of challenges their participants faced.
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless;
Provides national, state, and local statistics and data about affordable housing, family status of homeless households, living wage jobs, tax inequality, un- and under-employment, the poverty rate, and other exacerbating factors that feed into and exacerbate homelessness.
Heartland Alliance National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity;
This infographic highlights current trends in how well the homeless service system is connecting people exiting the system with employment and income. The infographic is based on an analysis of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Continuum of Care System Performance Measure data from 2016.
An innovative new model pioneered by affordable housing finance companies (AHFCs) has made home ownership attainable for millions of low-income informal sector customers in urban India. There are now 26 such AHFCs with a combined loan portfolio of $4.1+ billion in India, who have financed over 230,000 houses over the last decade. Due to the availability of equity and debt, and potential for geographic expansion, this market is likely to continue to grow rapidly. This report examines the current state of the market and provides recommendations for facilitating greater scale so that even more households can own or improve their homes.
Picture the Homeless;
This report is the product of a year-long investigation by Picture the Homeless's research committee into the fiscal policies and priorities that influence the lives of homeless New Yorkers. As the city's homeless shelter census has grown to a record high of over 60,000 people, the city has also seen its spending on shelter increase to an all-time high of over $1.8 billion, with an additional $650 million in capital funding allocated to upgrade and expand the shelter system in the next 10 years. By failing to create new units... the city is ensuring that shelter entry will continue at pace for the foreseeable future.
Coalition for the Homeless;
New York City reached a grim new milestone at the close of 2017: Last December, an average of 63,495 men, women, and children slept in City homeless shelters each night – an all-time record. To put this in context, only nine cities in the entire state of New York have populations larger than New York City's sheltered homeless population. Three-quarters of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters are members of homeless families, including 23,600 children. An 82 percent increase in homelessness over the past decade speaks to the severe shortage of affordable housing – fed by the combination of rising rents and stagnating incomes – along with devastating policy decisions that have limited access to affordable and supportive housing for homeless and extremely low-income New Yorkers. State of the Homeless 2018 articulates the steps necessary for the City and State to make a meaningful and lasting impact on this tragedy of historic proportions.
This case study documents the journey of one organization, Green Canopy Homes – and its financingarm, Green Canopy Capital – toward more systematically thinking about, measuring, and managing itsimpact. While developing the impact thesis for its resource-efficient homes, Green Canopy applied atheory of change tool, an approach common within the social sector, to systematically map the causalpathways between its strategies and intended impact. Its rationale for adopting this approach wassimple: use it to maximize impact, and understand and minimize possible harm. The tool also effectivelypositioned Green Canopy to measure and communicate about its social and environmental performance,and to make client-centric adaptations to its business.
The case study provides an illuminating example of how investors can adapt theory of change toserve their impact management needs. By demonstrating the relevance and transferability of this toolfor articulating, measuring, and managing impact, the hope is that this case study can contribute tostrengthening other investors' approaches, in turn contributing to building the evidence base for the"impact" of impact investments.