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Housing Partnership Network, Inc.: Winner's Statement

Social Capitalists

Housing Partnership Network Inc.

Boston, Massachusetts

President: Thomas Bledsoe

Previous winner: 2005

What it does: Stable homes form the foundation for secure lives in the economic mainstream--so Housing Partnership Network pools the money, influence, and resources of 84 affordable-housing groups to finance and build them. It has created its own lending company and insurer, backed by leading financial institutions, to provide capital and offer reasonable insurance rates.

Results: Network members have developed more than 230,000 apartments and homes and financed another 250,000. They've also counseled more than 250,000 families about home ownership.

Social impact: B
Aspiration and growth: A
Entrepreneurship: B+
Innovation: A
Sustainability: B+

Winner's Statement

The Housing Partnership Network is a peer exchange and business cooperative for 84 of the leading nonprofit housing organizations in the United States. It was formed in 1990 by CEOs of a new breed of nonprofit housing enterprise that combines the strong public purpose and accountability of a traditional nonprofit with the business sophistication of the private sector. The organizations created the network as a flexible and entrepreneurial vehicle to promote innovation and joint business development in order to increase their performance and social impact.

Network members have produced, financed or preserved more than 600,000 affordable homes in a wide range of urban, rural, and suburban communities. Rather than focusing exclusively at the neighborhood level, housing partnerships operate regionally or statewide, which allows them to have a broader range of market impact and promotes more sustainable enterprises.

They take a comprehensive approach that views affordable housing as the essential foundation for strong families and communities. Through innovative partnerships with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, they often operate social service, education and counseling initiatives that provide residents with stable housing and the opportunity to move into the economic mainstream.

The Network’s Social Enterprises

As a member-driven business cooperative, we enable high-performing organizations to pool resources and combine efforts to leverage capital from government, foundations and private institutions more effectively. We prioritize initiatives that increase the impact of our member organizations, promote the economic sustainability of the network, and advance the field of nonprofit social enterprise.

In 1995, we launched our first venture-a housing counseling fund and program-that has provided more than $12 million in funding to support homeownership counseling and financial literacy for 15,000 low-income families each year. Since then we have created two enterprises that permit our members to obtain risk capital and financial services that reflect their superior performance.

The Housing Partnership Fund, a $30-million lending facility provides subordinate, equitylike capital that has helped our nonprofit developers acquire, preserve or construct more than 11,000 affordable apartments and homes.

Housing Partnership Insurance, a $10 million captive insurance company owned by 18 regional nonprofits and the network provides property and liability coverage for 35,000 affordable apartments and generates substantial premium savings.

Building on this success, we are planning to launch two new enterprises in 2006 that will bring significant benefit to our members and the larger nonprofit housing industry.

Housing Partnership Securities will originate, pool, and securitize multifamily mortgages financed through tax-exempt bonds to help nonprofit developers to more effectively produce or preserve affordable apartment communities. The company will begin lending in the 2006, financing $100 million of mortgages on 2,000 apartments in its first year. By the end of 2008, it will have financed $750 million and produced 7,500 apartments for low-income households.

Housing Partnership Mortgage will provide home loans to lower-income borrowers counseled by our members, offering a responsible alternative to predatory lending practices targeting this segment of homebuyers. The goal is to provide $18 million in mortgages to 200 new homeowners in 2006, growing to $45 million and 450 new homebuyers in 2008.

Changing the Nonprofit Paradigm

Through our practice and innovation, we are striving to reframe the role and perception of nonprofits in addressing critical social issues. Our sector has matured and reached significant scale but the policy and funding framework often acts as an impediment to larger impact. In collaboration with the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Urban Institute, the Network is seeking to document and brand the business model and performance of housing partnerships and to overcome the systemic barriers limiting their growth and sustainability.

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The above Winner's Statement was provided by the profiled organization.