What do development and housing finance agencies need to know about capital absorption? How about real estate development professionals in Tennessee? Or Massachusetts hospitals? These are just a few of the community investment stakeholders to whom CCI has introduced the capital absorption framework in recent months. Each time, we focused on the specific needs and interests of audience members.
When CCI Co-founder and Executive Director Robin Hacke spoke to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Accelerating Community Investment (ACI) community of practice, she discussed how partnerships between development finance and community development can strengthen the ability of communities to achieve their objectives. ACI links Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) and Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) with communities to explore how these agencies can facilitate impact investments in economic development and affordable housing. Using case studies of DFA and HFA projects in Cincinnati and New Jersey, Robin showed the members of ACI’s 13 state-based teams how the capital absorption framework can help them not only attract investments but provide maximum impact.
At the Sankofa Real Estate Summit, a Nashville-based learning and networking event for Black, Latinx, and Native American real estate development professionals, Adriane Bond Harris, Director of CCI’s Connecting Capital and Community initiative, situated CCI’s approach in the context of Nashville’s affordable housing ecosystem. This gave participants the opportunity to think directly about how they could use the capital absorption framework in their own work. Affordable housing case studies from CCI program participants in California’s Coachella Valley, Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Boston provided models of what’s possible along with inspiration for thinking about how the capital absorption framework can support affordable housing investments in Nashville.
The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) is a national leader in bringing together health equity and community development. When MACDC’s Program Director for Health Equity, Elana Brochin, read Investing in Community Health, a 2020 joint publication of CCI and the Catholic Health Association that shows how hospitals and health systems can use the capital absorption framework to build partnerships and invest in their communities, she reached out to CCI. The result was a workshop for Massachusetts hospitals led by Robin and Megan Sandel, Principal Investigator, Children’s HealthWatch, Boston Medical Center (BMC), and leader of BMC’s team in CCI’s Accelerating Investments for Healthy Communities initiative. After a presentation that highlighted BMC’s housing investments, the audience went into breakout rooms. One group focused on policy innovations to support hospital community investment in Massachusetts, while the other discussed how hospitals can develop community investment strategies, including partnering with local CDCs. Participants left with renewed determination and new ideas for advancing hospital community investment in the state.
As we bring CCI’s approach to different geographies and constituencies—and tailor our presentations and workshops to their needs—we are taking a critical step in building a nationwide network of practitioners using capital absorption to redress the shameful history of racist disinvestment in this country while helping communities access the capital they need to achieve their goals. If your organization is interested in one of our workshops, please contact CCI’s Communications Assistant, Zev Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.