In 2010, DHN received a two-year grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council for the “Professionalizing the Housing Network” Project. The grant was designed to help Housing Corporations become more effective and healthy nonprofit organizations.
The purpose of the Self Assessment Project was for each Housing Corporation to review best practices and make internal decisions about any self-identified changes. DHN staff did not share information about individual Housing Corporations. Instead, DHN staff aggregated the data in order to track and report the progress of the grant, develop timely training sessions, and update resource information on the website.
The foundation of the effort was the DHN-developed Self-Assessment Tool, a 102-point checklist covering topics such as board governance, financial management, property maintenance, inspection standards, and planning. It is designed to help Ohio’s Housing Corporations build organizational capacity and become more effective at providing scattered-site, community-based rental property for people with disabilities.
The goals of the project were:
1) To provide Housing Corporations across the state of Ohio a comprehensive checklist of the field’s best practices;
2) To link Housing Corporations to the corresponding policy templates available on the DHN website;
3) To share information with Housing Corporations about others’ successes with these policies; and
4) To provide in-depth, one-on-one assistance to Housing Corporations as they implement these policies and procedures within their organizations.
Technical assistance varied according to each Housing Corporation’s unique needs as determined by the Self-Assessment Tool. The assistance included the following:
• Board Development (meeting/retreat facilitation, orientation, workshops, individualized recruitment strategies)
• Policy Development (board governance, financial, housing operations, personnel)
• Stakeholder Assessment (feedback from board, staff, tenants, community partners)
• Strategic Planning (mission/vision, values, long- and short-term goals, resource allocation, work plans.) This includes the County Plan.