The Affordable Housing Institute recently released its first comparative study of the work of MEEs (‘Mission Entrepreneurial Entities’) in the public housing sector. The study explores the adaptive advantages MEEs have over both purely private/for-profit enterprises and government and social-work entities. It does so by studying the ways MEEs in the US and in Britain have helped improve and revitalize affordable housing for the urban poor, which in turn has helped expand local economies and opportunities for everyone.
The report outlines some of the best practices of starting an MEE (including such issues as scale and scope of the entity, how to develop good relations with both constituents and for-profit business interests, and how to avoid pitfalls that some MEEs have encountered). It also offers a brief history of the development of public/affordable housing institutions from the late nineteenth century to the present.
Most timely, the report stresses the resources, optimism, opportunity, and flexibility that MEEs can provide the communities they serve – but it also analyzes the realities such enterprises face with the popping of the housing bubble in 2007-2008. Besides the obvious problems of foreclosures and unemployment, the report also offers strategies to deal with the problems and to keep the private sector engaged in the issues of housing and urban renewal. Though the focus is on MEEs in various cities in the US and the UK, information is drawn from from the work of MEEs in South America, Africa, and west Asia as well.
The report was written byÂ Raymond Christman (in Atlanta, GA),Â Gaynor Asquith (in Manchester, UK), andÂ David Smith (in Boston, MA). To order the form or read extracts, please click here.