Generations of Hope February 2017 Newsletter
There is excitement in Boise, Idaho and Maple Grove, Minnesota as two new sites are emerging as potential new Generations of Hope communities. As these two are exploring the specifics of the feasibility of a new community with key leadership, we are providing initial technical assistance to make that process easier. Every month, we continue to have about a half a dozen people and organizations from the U.S. and Canada getting in touch with Generations of Hope for the first time. Generations of Hope is changing its approach to the initial steps. Using Publisher software, we will help the first timers prepare a brochure describing specifically what type of community and the benefits to the greater community will result from a new effort. Then, we will work with the person or group to identify the first set of stakeholders they need to meet with to get the ball rolling. We are hoping in this way, the “awfully hard” first steps will be easier.
The other day I talked to Bill La Vancher who is putting together an intergenerational community in Floyd, Virginia. Located in rural southwestern Virginia, â€œBlueâ€ will have a grand vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Having identified property (80 acres), work is now underway to bring county government in as partners. What might be called a â€œplanned unit developmentâ€ in a city is being planned in a county with no zoning ordinances. Bill has been looking at the concept of â€œflex town homesâ€ that are modular three stories with the bottom floor very accessible apartments for the vulnerable populations and â€œaging in place.â€ In addition to the Generations of Hope flavor, significant efforts at zero energy planning and farming/hydroponics are also going to be important components. As I look out at flat, black earth fields soon to be planted with soybeans or corn, I think â€œBlueâ€ is a great name!
Bastion â€“ A Community of Resiliance â€“ nears completion of Phase I
Most of you know about Bastion â€“ a singularly unique community of veterans with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, who now face a lifetime of physical and mental rehabilitation, such as traumatic brain injuries combined with their new neighbors seniors 55 years of age or older. Total plans will be building out 78 rental units with 70% affordable units and the remainder market rate units. Dylan Tete, CEO of Bastion provides an exciting update. By June Phase I (35 units) and grounds will be completed. We have people that have already moved in the completed unitsâ€ Dylan reports. The second phase will need additional Tax Credits. When completed the community will include a wellness center as an intregal part of the community.
Two Conferences You Should Know About
Co-housing Conference and Generations United Conferences
The Co-housing Association of the United States national conference will be in Nashville May 18-21. Along with a team from our friends at Sweetgrass -a developing site, we will be working the co-housing devotees to try to understand their world and to expose the attendees to the world of intergenerational neighboring in a Hope inspired community. Maybe a joint project will come along the road. If your interested in attending, let me know, I can offer a 20% discount to the first person that wants to learn about co-housing at the conference and sing hillbilly in the evenings.
Generations United Conference
As mentioned before, the Generations United Conference will be held jointly with Saint Ann’s Center in Milwaukee June 13-16. Termed Generations Remixed Global Intergenerational Conference, this annual conference continues to gather interest from a wide area of governmental and non-governmental services. Again, we plan to be the stars at the show. We are still looking for panel members to tell the GOH inspired story. If you are interested let me know. Generations United has been a long time advocate for intergenerational programs and public policies so this gathering should be of wide interest to local and national press.
Funding Topic of the Month – Private Activity Bonds
Funding Streams for New Generations of Hope Communities
(Dear Reader, we are taking a break from detailing the Federal Grant Resources and Programs used to fund all or parts of a Hope community. Why? Two things have to occur, first the national budget promising â€œbigâ€ cuts to domestic programs has to be delivered in May so we can see impact on HUD and the Treasury (LIHTC) and second, there needs to be concerted lobbying by the elderly community and the vulnerable populations, to convince Secretary Carson to maintain funding streams or create new ones that advantage these populations.)
Private Activity Bonds
Private Activity Bond or PAB are Tax-exempt bonds issued by or on behalf of local or state government for the purpose of providing special financing benefits for qualified projects. Most activity allowed under the IRS rules are subject to a â€œvolume capâ€ or an allocation to the state. In 2016, $35 billion pool was the total allocation for the cap. Because of multiple allowed uses, the total allocation within a state is highly competitive. Affordable housing maybe one of the development areas under the volume cap although qualified non-profit housing organization are exempt. Use of this resource for affordable housing varies state by state. Generally, less than one-third of allocation is for affordable housing. There is a special section in the code for 501(c)3 affordable housing organizations. Commonly a state’s Housing Authority receives an allocation from the Office of the Governor and then solicits projects from a previously prepared list of qualifying organizations. This resource can be mixed with Low Income Housing Tax Credits in a single project. As sites move toward a mixture of publicly funded affordable housing and private housing, this source has special rules relating to the mixture. If this funding source is of interest, seek out a certified affordable housing organization to see how it might work for your project.
Generations of Hope and the Senior Housing Industry
Are Continuous Retirement Communities (CCRC) ready for an intergenerational neighboring component? Hot off the press data from the National Investment Centers for Senior Housing and Care (NIC) data shows that occupancy rates for senior assisted living have declined to the lowest rates since 2010. The feeling is that there has been over building. If this is indicative of the whole senior housing market, we can surmise that some of the 2,000 Continuous Care Communities or Life Care communities in the country are looking for â€œmagnetâ€ options. Marketing the idea of a Generations of Hope village or community as part of their services will help them move into a stronger market position. With at least one site director, this discussion is becoming part of a new community dialogue. With a tremendous variation in CCRC’s and often aggressive competition to attract seniors, the marketing strategy will be to develop a â€œpocket neighborhood or mini-village for intergenerational living. The neighborhood -a component of the CCRC village, would meet the philosophical goals and principles of Generations of Hope and also have the advantages of continuous care model for all residents. Two organizations that serve this part of senior housing, Leading Age and Senior Housing News from time to time talk about the idea of intergenerational CCRCs but have not researched or identified the many benefits we believe take place using the Generations of Hope model. As a last note, of course the resources behind most CCRC would be very much a benefit to a new Generations of Hope communities.
Over the last few weeks, I have asked a web consultant to look at how we can attract more traffic to the website and of course, turn that website traffic into new projects. His analysis of who visits the website, and more importantly who doesn’t visit the website is helping to re-design the site and to make it easier for organizations and people to find Generations of Hope. The â€œscienceâ€ of capturing interest in a website is something I will be learning. The trick will be to maintain the high quality of information that is currently the substance of the site and at the same time attract new parties interested in replicating the Generations of Hope concepts. Stay tuned!