Neighborhoods are not simply places to live, they have a life of their own. They shape a child’s world view. They give peace of mind to parents, and to families of all kinds. When communities are stable, the people within them thrive. Currently, in the metro Washington area, people essential to their communities are caught in an affordability gap. Our goal is to preserve affordability in the places working people call home.
Working people — police officers, firefighters, teachers, administrative assistants, healthcare workers and more — are caught in a no-man’s land, earning too much to qualify for housing assistance, but not enough to keep up with rising rents. They face stark choices: they can move into lower-quality housing within their communities or seek less expensive housing outside the region. Either way, lives are disrupted.
A market-based solution
The Washington Housing Initiative is comprised of two entities working together to keep the local workforce truly local: The Impact Pool and The Washington Housing Conservancy. The Impact Pool is an investment vehicle that targets after-tax returns equivalent to many traditional opportunity funds. The Washington Housing Conservancy is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit that purchases properties in high-impact locations. Together, they deliver triple-bottom-line returns to all involved. A 7% IRR is targeted for investors. Local businesses get a professional, stable workforce. Families live in safe and welcoming communities and have reasonable commutes. And donors endow a self-sustaining non-profit that helps residents put down roots in thriving, inclusive communities.