Sustaining the Effort

Creating and preserving affordable housing is challenging work. The housing trust funds that have paid support are generally the most productive. Some communities hire a housing coordinator with a job description that includes staffing the housing trust fund. Other communities have a consultant that provides professional support to the housing trust, often to manage a program. In one North Shore community, the part-time town planner’s hours were increased to support the newly formed housing trust fund.

Sometimes volunteers get tired. Bringing in new trustees from time to time can help keep new energy on the board, as well as circulate new ideas and experiences.

In addition, forming partnerships with other boards and agencies interested in affordable housing can help strengthen the effectiveness of the trust. Today, more health care providers are interested in expanding safe and affordable housing opportunities in our communities. If you have a local health care provider, perhaps your housing trust fund could reach out.

Many housing trust funds rely heavily on Community Preservation funding. Yet to be sustained over the long haul, most trusts need to seek a more diversified income stream. Brainstorm with your trust possible sources, including land or building donations.