Dr. Stephen Sills (Center for Housing and Community Studies) received new funding from the Hinton Center for the project “Asset Based Community Development Planning.” This proposal was developed by the Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS) in response to a request by Rev. Amy Spivey, Director of Program Ministries at the Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, NC, to conduct an asset based needs assessment and gap analysis. A needs assessment documents the existing services being provided to a community. It then identifies actual needs of the community and uncovers the “gap” between services and needs. Both geo-spatial and socio-economic Community Asset Mapping will be employed. This needs assessment will help organizations define their priorities and develop plans to address deficits while avoiding duplication in the service matrix. Cost-effectiveness, projected population change, legal mandates, and client input are considered in the process. Suggestions for training and organizational development are made, as well as plans for monitoring and evaluating implementation of plans to address the identified service deficiencies. The results of that mapping will be used to assist the “Partnering for Change” project to establish an inter-agency, collaborative Community Action Plan (CAP).
Additionally, Sills received funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro for the project “Measuring the Impact of the Housing Crisis: A Census of Housing Stock in Greensboro.” This proposal was developed by the Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS) in response to a request by the Housing Committee of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro (CFGG). CFGG has been helping sponsor efforts in the city to bring together policy makers, non-profit service providers, and property management companies, as well as investors and developers to tackle the issue of a lack of affordable housing. One problem with studying vacant and abandoned properties is that many communities have no reliable way to keep track of their vacant and abandoned properties. It is hard to quantify the costs of such properties when there is no central mode of determining the scale and scope of vacancies in a given area. This project will involve the collection of primary data on all land parcels in in the city to determine the frequency of vacant, abandoned, and substandard properties in the area. It will lead to a separate, later market segmentation and cost analysis study for Greensboro.