Providing safe housing for the most vulnerable 

Author: Robyn Roesner 

As with all other mission-centered organizations across the nonprofit sector, affordable housing developers are facing a new frontier as they seek to maintain high quality and safe housing, with many requiring supportive onsite services. Nonprofit organization leaders are taking prudent and creative steps to continue to help residents among the most vulnerable in our communities. Gallagher is pleased to provide consultative support to further this mission each day. 

Our highest priority is to keep both residents and staff safe. While following local, state, and national health and safety guidelines is critical, these are a minimum standard in the eyes of nonprofit leaders. Many nonprofit housing organizations are taking additional steps to support the emotional and mental health of those they serve, which has put a strain on internal nonprofit resources. Despite this strain and confines of social distancing, a new trend is emerging as the sense of community among residents is often stronger than ever. Residents have re-engaged with their neighbors, embraced virtual programming for delivery of supportive services and volunteered their skills side-by-side with nonprofit staff to create solutions while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. The result is a re-energized sense of community with stronger relationships and motivation for serving the health and well-being of all.

Fundraising and financing for affordable housing is at a critical point, with various revenue sources below projected budget and expenses continuing to increase. Gallagher is working closely with nonprofit clients to minimize the impact on cash flow and support various types of risk management so cost-effective solutions are found, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic protocols are becoming part of the standard nonprofit operating procedure. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to consider enterprise-wide solutions which are more efficient and cost-effective in areas including supplies, vendor contracts, and staff time. Gallagher will continue to coordinate with nonprofit clients to develop unique procedures and plans that fit particular organizations and their variety of premises.   

News reports amid the COVID-19 pandemic often mention rental income concerns, and affordable housing organizations are working with residents to provide flexibility where needed as it relates to payment of rent. The complex financing of affordable housing has provided some protections for nonprofit organizations, given the spread of risk through diversified funding sources. Local, state, and national housing trade organizations are also collaborating across geographies to help support the affordable housing sector. 

Ironically, uncertainty is a word we have become all too familiar with. Despite the new COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges, it is clear that the leaders and dedicated staff of nonprofit affordable housing organizations are committed to providing safe homes for the overall health of our communities. In the face of uncertainty, nonprofit stakeholders have gone above and beyond to plan and protect for today and for the future. 


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