Photo Credit: Olga Lopez
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Housing and Community Development

Technical Assistance

Photo Credit: Olga Lopez

McAuley provides technical assistance and training to help your organization initiate or maintain community-based housing development that meets the needs of low-income women and families. McAuley's experienced housing development specialists are available for planning retreats, board and staff training sessions and other working or problem-solving meetings. We maintain a library of information covering a wide variety of topics related to low-income housing development, financing, fund-raising, organizing and nonprofit organizational development and management, as well as model programs and national, regional and local housing resources and networks.

McAuley can help your organization:

  • increase the effectiveness of your board
  • set priorities and develop strategies
  • train staff
  • negotiate successful transitions in leadership
  • assess the needs of your neighborhood
  • increase local and regional leadership--especially that of women
  • build local, regional, and national partnerships that focus on Building Healthier Communities strategies
  • use federal, state and local funding streams
  • create a realistic and comprehensive workplan
  • acquire property
  • complete financial packaging
  • negotiate contracts with builders, architects and other vendors
  • develop and implement a comprehensive and diverse fund-raising plan

Women and Homeownership Initiative

Women are buying homes at a faster rate than the general population, still the rate of women who currently own homes lags well below the national average. Although homeownership is not for everyone, increasing the number of women homeowners in low-income communities would go a long way toward building healthier communities.

In June of 2000, McAuley launched a Women and Homeownership initiative. It is a national program to increase the number of women who own homes. In the first year, the program will be piloted in New Jersey; Washington, DC; Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; and Houston. The goal of the program is to increase economic security for low-income women, families, and communities by making more homes affordable and accessible to women.

McAuley believes that homeownership is important to the reduction of poverty. Driven by its commitment to women, its strong relationships with community-based nonprofit organizations, its healthy portfolio of assets, and its skilled staff, McAuley Institute is focusing its power and voice to reverse the historically low rates of homeownership among women and their families.

Surdna Foundation funded an initial feasibility survey conducted in five cities around the country. The survey examined perceptions regarding demand for programs and activities that could boost homeownership for women-headed households. It also took inventory of what infrastructure is in place to support a women's homeownership initiative. The outcome of this survey is available for $7.

Fannie Mae Foundation and Corporation have become collaborative partners, as well. Additional partners are being sought, both nationally and in the four regional pilot sites.

Basic Elements of the Program

  • An extensive public awareness campaign to inform women that they can become homeowners;
  • Training for practitioners and industry professionals;
  • Enhancement tools for homeownership counseling programs;
  • Individual Development Accounts (IDA) with matching money for women saving to become homeowners;
  • Affordable finance and mortgage tools and model homeownership units in targeted neighborhoods;
  • Targeted outreach to potential women homeowners in specific neighborhoods;
  • Local and national networking among Program partners; and
  • Advocacy on policy issues relating to women's homeownership, asset-building, and economic security.

To participate in the Women and Homeownership Initiative or to get more information, contact Jeanne Reitz at 301-588-8110 or

Any organization receiving technical assistance or a loan from McAuley must complete a report each quarter. We use these quarterly reports to monitor organizational progress and activities.

How do I begin?

Photo Credit: Olga LopezWrite, call or email McAuley with your request for assistance. A McAuley staff person will review information about your organization's mission and needs. By telephone or on-site, McAuley professionals will work with your organization to identify and address the needs of your organization, neighborhood or community.

Whether you are just beginning to assess local housing needs or have years of experience in housing development, you need current information and effective tools. McAuley can be your resource. At every stage of development, we can provide current information about program models, funding and financing sources, and proven housing development techniques.

If your organization is interested in receiving technical assistance from McAuley Institute, please fill out our information form so that we may contact you directly.

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What is the cost?

Costs for our services are always below market rate and vary according to the individual needs and nature of each organization. McAuley does not limit its services based on ability to pay. For those groups that qualify for assistance from McAuley under one of the programs supported by a funding partner, there are no costs for services.

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What types of groups has McAuley assisted?

Photo Credit: Joel SalcidoOur priority is to work with groups and projects that serve and/or are led by women and in which community residents have a stake through homeownership, shared equity or a governing role in the sponsoring organization.

McAuley helped Mercy Haven on Long Island, New York evaluate its programs and organization in preparation for strategic planning. The process strengthened Mercy Haven's management capacity and increased the number of homes made available to the homeless mentally ill.

McAuley helped Miriam's House in Washington, D.C. with program design, site selection, rehabilitation, finance packaging in developing a residence for HIV+ women and their children. Today, 18 women and their children have a safe home in a nurturing community.

McAuley helped New Road Community Development Group in rural Exmore, Virginia to purchase the land under the homes residents were renting. This 100% community-based group has successfully completed sewer infrastructure development and is completing roads. Houses are being built and renovated that will provide 75 residents, from young, working families to elderly retirees safe, decent places o live with running water for the first time ever.

Besides the loan, McAuley is assisting the Board and staff to increase their own knowledge and organizational capacity. McAuley worked with WOMAN, Inc. in Houston, Texas to build their first housing project: a 30-unit complex that provides transitional housing to women and their children leaving domestic violence shelter programs. This collaboration of domestic violence programs covering a 13-county area of eastern Texas, have completed a second project in Galveston and are in the process of developing a third one in Beaumont. In addition to a loan and project development assistance, McAuley staff are assisting the group to plan, raise funds and complete the development of housing projects. McAuley has also assisted with loans in the past.

Click on Project Locations for more information on groups receiving McAuley's technical assistance.

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What is McAuley's approach?

We believe that a healthy community is a good place for all residents to live, work, go to school, raise children and enjoy leisure time.

People make a community healthy by inspiring unity and acting as catalysts for positive change. A healthy community builds on the strengths of its people and its institutions. It finds new ways to mobilize its assets to create the physical and social environment that nurtures healthy lifestyles and encourages people to reach their full potential.

With this in mind, our technical assistance and loan services are designed to weave a web of community partnerships around and including the community-based group we are working with to develop affordable housing. Although our technical assistance and loans are explicitly to increase the number of housing units affordable to low-income people - especially women and children - we believe that to sustain these efforts, the housing must be located in communities that are on the road to health.

A healthy community provides:

  • Housing that is safe and affordable
  • A diverse economy with jobs that offer a living wage
  • Health care services for all stages of the life cycle and quality medical care
  • Excellent education opportunities, responsible child care, accessible public transportation and recreational facilities
  • Respect for natural resources and the community's historical and cultural roots
  • Public processes that give all residents a voice in decisions affecting their community
  • Active engagement among people of all races, cultures and religions

As we work with nonprofits across the country, we encourage the partnership of organizations from different segments of each community to join together in innovative partnerships to deliver affordable housing, improve health care, boost educational achievement and connect residents to good jobs. Read more about this focused initiative, and some local examples at the Building Healthier Communities website.

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