Building Public-private Partnerships to Develop Affordable Housing

Copies of Model Programs are available through Community Connections (

HUD-1583-CPD, May 1996

Partnerships between local governments and the private sector - both the business sector and community-based non-profit housing providers - can help communities develop affordable housing by bringing additional resources and skills to the development process.

There are a variety of public-private partnership approaches: affordable housing task forces, operating support collaboratives, developer partnerships, program-based partnerships and public sector-partnerships.

This guidebook provides innovative ideas and approaches for using public-private partnerships.

It documents the experience of four national technical assistance providers -- The Enterprise Foundation, The National Development Council, The Local Initiatives Support Corporation and The Community Builders.

Working under a HUD contract, these national "intermediaries" were charged with the tasks of creating local affordable housing partnerships, supporting strategic planning for affordable housing, increasing the production and availability of suitable, affordable housing and improving the capacity of community-based development organizations (CHDOs) to develop affordable housing and participate in local partnerships.

Six factors emerged from the partnership-building experience as indicators of success: identifiable need, strong leaders, diverse boards and involvement, access to funding, realistic programs and effective resource utilization. Problems which emerged were: downtown versus neighborhood interests, political transition and turnover, loss of political control, making affordable housing a priority, quick fixes versus long-term solutions, multiple intermediaries and arbitrary program guidelines.

The guidebook discusses these factors.

The guidebook also describes a variety of public-private partnership approaches which are underway in fifty cities.

More detailed case studies for nine cities are provided which discuss the role and accomplishments of the local partnership, the elements critical to its success and the specific partnership problems.

Five Appendices provide additional information on partnership locations, contacts and the four intermediary organizations.

Content Archived: May 20, 2011