April 30 is the one year anniversary of Trinity New Hope. Here are ten things I’ve learned through our affordable housing adventure:
- Affordable Housing has more acronyms than the church, which I never anticipated. Some essentials for us are IHFA (Idaho Housing and Finance Association), LIHTC (Low-Income Housing Tax Credits), AHIT (Affordable Housing Investment Trust), and Idaho AHMA (Affordable Housing Management Association)
- Excavation is necessary after 20 years. When I learned in a board meeting that we would be hiring someone to excavate the 16 homes I was puzzled and then went out and looked at the houses. Oh my! I have no idea how much dirt was put around the foundations of each house but it was substantial.
- File cabinets that are both fireproof and lockable are expensive. In order to be part of the team I offered to secure some office stuff. I love any excuse to go to an office supply store.
- Our congregation’s decision to purchase the houses and become affordable housing landlords was a surprise to some people in our community.
- The best part of Trivia Night at the Flying M Coffee Garage is that, unlike the statutes guiding property tax exemptions, there is no place for interpretation. Answers are right or wrong. Thank you Team Ravenclaw!
- I’ve heard and read it many times but I have now witnessed in person the truth of Margaret Mead’s famous quote, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This is my shout out to the Trinity New Hope Board, Trinity Lutheran Church Council, and entire Trinity Lutheran Church congregation.
- The individuals I’ve met through Idaho’s Region III Housing Coalition along with Trinity New Hope’s Property Manager have deep compassion and are tremendous teachers.
- There are no stupid questions for pastors trying to grasp the work of affordable housing. (I was already pretty sure about this but I appreciated it whenever someone told me that I was not a burden).
- Paint, Carpet and a new door can transform an office-turned Sunday School Room-turned Storage Room back into a warm and welcoming office.
- We need a greater variety of housing in Nampa.