Triple Bottom Line for Castle Gardens!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

In July 2010, The Fortune Society opened the doors to Castle Gardens, an approximately 110,000 square foot green, mixed use – affordable and supportive – housing development in West Harlem.

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Fortune has created this toolkit to share the experiences and lessons learned in developing Castle Gardens, permanent housing that addresses the needs of formerly incarcerated homeless individuals and low income neighborhood residents.

This toolkit highlights Fortune’s experiences in each of the four phases in the development of Castle Gardens:

  1. Pre-Development Planning:  Insight into Fortune’s analysis of its capacity to undertake the housing project; its early brainstorming process including two feasibility studies; and its pre-development engagement with the Board and the local community.
  2. Project Financing:  This section details Fortune’s capital sources of funding, including low income housing tax credits and other government and private revenue streams for supportive and affordable housing. The section describes how Fortune accessed the various funding streams by building and leveraging relationships, working with the local community and coordinating funders.
  3. Construction:  While construction management will vary site to site, this section provides Fortune’s suggestions for managing risk as a social service agency during the construction phase, including how not to erode hard-won community support with construction-related disruptions to its neighbors.
  4. Moving In:  This section describes Fortune’s operations and service plans, and the ongoing funding necessary for Castle Gardens. It also describes how Fortune managed its complex lease-up process, which required juggling affordable and supportive housing funders’ eligibility requirements and timelines.  Finally, the section briefly describes Castle Gardens’ building management.

Significantly, the project accomplished three goals — its “triple bottom line”:

  • Housing and supportive services for Fortune’s client population;
  • A financially sustainable building and services; and
  • Benefit to the local community.
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This toolkit represents a significant step in DRCPP’s efforts to help replicate the Castle Model of supportive housing in other jurisdictions.

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