Increasingly, state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) are using a combination of incentives in their Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in neighborhoods with higher quality schools. In fact, 36 HFAs consider a proposed development’s proximity to an elementary, middle, and/or high school when allocating competitive Housing Credits. Of these, 26 HFAs consider the quality of the school and/or school district, encouraging developers to locate affordable housing near good schools where students of all incomes receive the education needed to thrive.
However, the quality of schools is not the only indicator of a community with high-opportunity. Transportation, established affordable housing, jobs and health and safety are just a few of the other traits at which to look. Measuring opportunity can become very difficult when accounting for all these different factors.
That’s why Enterprise Community Partners developed Opportunity360, a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing community challenges by identifying pathways to greater opportunities using cross-sector data, community engagement and measurement tools. The platform provides a comprehensive view into a neighborhood and facilitates a strategic, asset-building approach to community development.
- Measure: The Opportunity360 Measurement Report offers a wide range of data about the opportunity pathways and outcomes of a neighborhood, helping quickly identify its assets and challenges.
- Listen: Use community engagement tools to complement and enrich the data provided in the measurement report with lived experience.
- Partner: Identify providers of low-cost and no-cost services throughout the U.S and connect the residents who need them to these services.
- Evaluate: Evaluate the impact of your work by combining qualitative and quantitative data to tell a compelling story.
Both NHT and NHT-Enterprise teams find themselves using the Opportunity360 platform as we work to build out our High Opportunity Partner Engagement (HOPE) strategy. With this insight, both we and our partners in community development will be better positioned to make smart investments and create collaborative solutions that transform communities across the country.