Housing Partnerships (HPs) are collaborative arrangements that assist communities in the delivery of affordable housing by combining the strengths of the public and private sectors. They emerged in several states, counties, and cities in the eighties as innovative solutions to the challenges in affordable housing resulting from changing dynamics of delivery and production.
My study examines HPs with particular emphasis upon the identification of those factors associated with the successful performance of their mission of affordable housing. I will use the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) framework in this study. The identification of performance factors facilitates a better understanding of how HPs can be successful in achieving their mission. The identification of performance factors is significant in the context of the current economic environment because HPs can be viewed as innovative institutional mechanisms in the provision of affordable housing.
The present study uses a mixed methods research approach, drawing on data from the IRS Form 990 tax returns, a survey of the chief executives of HPs, and other secondary sources. The data analysis is framed according to the four perspectives of BSC: the financial, customer, internal business, and learning and growth. Financially, revenue diversification affects the financial health of HPs and overall performance. Although HPs depend on private and government funding, they also depend on service fees to carry out their mission. From a customer perspective, the HPs mainly serve low and moderate income households, although some serve specific groups such as seniors, homeless, veterans, and victims of domestic violence. From an internal business perspective, HPs’ programs are oriented toward affordable housing needs, undertaking not only traditional activities such as construction, loan provision, etc., but also advocacy and educational programs. From an employee and learning growth perspective, the HPs are small in staff size, but undertake a range of activities with the help of volunteers. Every part of the HP is developed to maximize resources, knowledge, and skills in order to assist communities in the delivery of affordable housing and related needs. Overall, housing partnerships have played a key role in affordable housing despite the housing market downturn since 2006. Their expenses on affordable housing activities increased despite the decrease in their revenues.