For the people dedicated to closing California’s housing gap through the complex and highly-regulated world of affordable home development, there is no roadmap.
Which is why, 30 years ago, LISC launched the first Housing Development Training Institute (HDTI), a kind of boot camp for developers that lessens the learning curve for non-profit groups working to create and preserve affordable housing in California. HDTI was designed to fill a critical void by providing local leadership training and building capacity.
In 2017, LA LISC, together with LISC San Diego and Bay Area LISC, hosted two sessions of HDTI, "graduating" more than a 100 affordable housing developers—the largest number of participants in the program’s history. As the state’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis deepens, the need and demand for the kind of roadmap HDTI offers is more acute than ever. Last year’s HDTI boot camps were sponsored by MUFG Union Bank, with additional support from Pacific Western Bank.
HDTI instruction covers various streams of finance, but also how to negotiate effectively among partners to keep projects moving forward, meeting deadlines, and staying on track. The program’s organizers estimate that this year’s cohort will contribute 17,186 more housing units to bolster the state’s supply of affordable units.
Since 1988, when LISC first unrolled HDTI, nearly 400 people have gone through the program, representing 100 community development organizations throughout California. And HDTI graduates have gone on to help create nearly 30,000 quality homes.
Other trainings for affordable housing developers do exist, but LISC's is unique in its intensive sessions and for taking students from conception to acquisition to construction to lease up, as well as all the elements of finance. Small groups allow participants to work collaboratively, learn from each other and develop personal and professional bonds—all integral parts to a successful career in the field.
And like boot camp, HDTI instills a newfound confidence in the developers who undertake it. “I can now say I have the perspective to be able to resolve issues faster with lenders, city officials and investors,” said Peter Enzminger, who attended the 2017 institute and is a project manager at LA’s Skid Row Housing Trust.
“We do permanent supportive housing exclusively,” Enzminger added, “and sometimes the people I deal with say ‘we don’t do it’ or ‘we don’t do it that way’ and I did not know how to respond. Now I know how to make people comfortable with what we are proposing.”
Photo credit: LISC Archives
Private Sector Support
Public Sector Support
Executive Director: Tunua Thrash-Ntuk
500 S. Grand Street, Suite 2300
Los Angeles, CA 90071