Fannie Mae Foundation
This article relies on a national survey of community-based housing development organizations to profile production levels, spatial coverage, funding sources, and nondevelopmental roles of the nonprofit housing development sector. It also uses Urban Institute case study results and secondary data sources to examine continuing barriers to increased production in the sector and the evolution of institutional responses to those barriers. Nationwide, about 13 percent of all recent federally supported housing units (excluding public housing) have been sponsored by nonprofit developers. This production is distributed very unevenly; relatively few developers produce the bulk of units, and regional disparities are marked. Long-standing barriers to efficient production at higher volumes continue: Undercapitalization, high-risk developments, patchwork systems of finance, and the difficulty of demonstrating the social payoff of community development investments constrain even the most sophisticated portions of the sector. However, the creation of national intermediary institutions over the past decade and the proliferation of similar organizations locally have established the preconditions for sector expansion. And in view of recent local initiatives in participatory, comprehensive neighborhood revitalization, and hints of federal support for like efforts, increased capacity in the sector has taken on new national importance.
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