Getting Up and Running
Once your community has created a housing trust fund and appointed trustees, it can be tempting to feel pressure to “do something.” Yet it can make sense for the trustees to take time to dig into the community’s housing production plan or housing needs analysis, or update an old plan. Get familiar with the data that outlines local housing needs.
Then use this information to consider the specific role of the housing trust fund in the community. What will you focus on? How will you operate as an entity? The Beverly Affordable Housing Trust was founded in early 2017. The trustees then spent several months reviewing their community housing plan and developing their trust guidelines and application package. This outlines their funding priorities, eligible funding activities and selection criteria. See Beverly’s guidelines here.
Some housing trust funds hire a consultant to help develop an action plan. These plans often include community engagement, inviting others to participate in creating a path forward for the trust. Grafton, Easton and Westford are examples of communities that created a housing trust action plan. See Grafton’s trust action plan here.