What We Do
Griffon Group, LLC was established with the goal of creating sustainable mixed-income communities within HUD’s innovative HOPE VI Program. Griffon’s primary focus is providing the support necessary to insure the success of these HOPE VI developments, as well as the expertise needed to evaluate, redirect and expedite the completion of existing HOPE VI developments when that is required. Additionally, Griffon provides support for Public Housing Authorities in the implementation of new HUD initiatives made possible by the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 and other new legislation. Subsequently, Griffon has begun to work with HUD and the Troubled Agency Recovery Center (TARC) to perform assessments and produce workout plans for troubled mixed-finance properties.
To meet these goals Griffon has assembled a team of experienced, creative and dedicated professionals with the wide range of innovative private and public sector skills needed to successfully complete the development of a HOPE VI community. This unique team, merges the skills of market rate builder/developers, with specialists in subsidized housing, tax credits, the latest MIS technologies, bond financing, tenant relations, urban policy, and HUD programs. The Griffon team is also able to draw on substantial HOPE VI experience as they work to create successful development plans, analyze and secure project financing, oversee construction, and manage all of the other related tasks.
Members of the Griffon team have led teams involved with every aspect of the HOPE VI development process. The three managing directors have been directly involved with eight HOPE VI projects and have participated in detailed studies of more than thirty-two HOPE VI developments. As early participants in the program these individuals had the opportunity to observe HOPE VI developments of every type and learn the keys to successful creation of these new communities.
No matter how desirable the goals of HOPE VI are, the reality of successfully completing a sustainable mixed-income, market-rate, mixed-finance development requires the hard, practical skills usually found in the private sector.
The Griffon team produces sustainable success because, throughout the development cycle, it closely monitors the relationship between the budget, schedule, plans and ultimate long-term financial viability of the completed property. This focus provides the information and direct control of the development process essential to the timely completion of any HOPE VI project within an established budget. However, quality and a successful development come from more than the innovative techniques we have developed, the resources we offer and the unique combination of services we can provide.
But there is another side to the HOPE VI Program, the tenants. The Griffon team believes that if the stated goal of the HOPE VI Program is eliminating failed public housing projects as communities of isolation, then education must be central to that change. Only education can loose the manacles of poverty that have bound each successive generation of public housing residents to a life of poverty. The educational door must be opened for everyone.
Griffon places special emphasis on resident programs that will give children and adults tangible hope and real opportunities for the future. Central to this effort is the ability to create and manage programs that will bring the children of public housing into the digital age. Delivering Internet connectivity and its learning potential to every classroom and every HOPE VI home is central to achieving this goal.
The Griffon team is always focused on producing positive results. The most important indicator of those results will be the measurable increase in the capacity of HOPE VI staff. Even when our primary responsibility is a task oriented assignment, we always take the time to involve key staff in every aspect of the process.
A System for Success
Griffon brings the lessons of the private sector to the world of HOPE VI. The market-rate development industry has spent the post-war years honing its ability to design, build and manage market-rate housing quickly, efficiently and within budget. Any HOPE VI development that hopes to compete in this marketplace needs to take advantage of the lessons already learned by the private sector. Griffon delivers those skills when and where they are needed. Griffon is also equipped to train on-site HOPE VI staff in the necessary private sector skills from developer/contractor negotiations and construction supervision to effectively decorating a model unit.
As an example, Griffon team members have pioneered the use of The Box© in HOPE VI developments. The Box is a way of defining and controlling the complete HOPE VI development process. Four elements form the sides of The Box – budget, plans, schedule and long term operating proforma. Beginning with the initial Project Feasibility Analysis, the impact of every decision must be defined in terms of each of the four sides of The Box©. Even at this early stage, The Box© defines the entire project. As the development process continues, The Box changes its size and shape with every decision until every detail is reviewed and approved. Before construction starts, a book containing the full details of each of the four sides of The Box is prepared for each member of the project team to sign off on. After the start of construction, any further changes must once again be defined in terms of their impact on each of the four sides of The Box© and be approved by the entire project team. Surprises are avoided and project goals are maintained. The Box© provides senior staffers, who already have many complex projects to manage, with the framework and information needed to make difficult decisions. The lessons of The Box© are obviously not limited to HOPE VI and are an example of the skills that Griffon leaves behind.
Whether it is The Box©, our Total HOPE VI Training Program, our HOPE VI Quick Review Team, or any of the other services we provide, you will always find program participants more capable, dedicated and productive after participating in a Griffon visit.
Excellence in HOPE VI development emerges from experience, attention to detail and a commitment to creating self-sustaining communities.