Total HOPE VI Training Program


Griffon is dedicated to building and strengthening the skills of the entire HOPE VI development team. There is no room for on-the-job-training in a $75 million mixed-use development project. Learn the developer’s language and use it to your advantage.


How HOPE VI will change the perceptions of PHA staff, residents and local politicians about their future and that of public housing in their community. Looking at the impact on a local CDC. Competing for the tax credits and bond allocations. Learning how to gather the information needed to manage the process from the first step. Learning to evaluate the risks and equate them to the potential reward. Preparing and educating the PHA staff. Learning about The Box©. Learning about the pieces HUD doesn’t give you. How to identify community stakeholders. Building local support, resident support and HUD support. How to tell the truth to residents. How and why to change the identity of a site. Web resources. What outside technical help is available? Establishing political and marketing strategies.

Applying The Box© in determining project feasibility. Gathering baseline information on crime, census data, economic data, property ownership, resident attitudes and neighborhood perceptions. How and why to make a site selection. Building consensus and making the choices obvious. Understanding the scope of change required for success. Understanding and planning for procurement compliance. Who owns the property? Title searches, geological testing, surveys, traffic studies, appraisals, condemnation, eminent domain, environmental review and impact statements. Managing the press.

Learn how the rules of The Box© can help insure the success of a HOPE VI project. Computer software that will allow you to build an effective Box©. Understand why this is the single most important thing a PHA must do right. Understanding the relationship between budget, plans, schedule and proforma. Basic financial modeling of a HOPE VI project. Construction estimating, market surveys and projecting inflation. Construction costs in an overheated market. Letting the numbers talk to you. Learn to create systems to track and evaluate the project throughout the planning, development, construction and property management processes. Don’t lie to yourself.

Learn how to prepare a grant application with your own staff, a consultant or a combination of both. How to evaluate PHA capacity. Procurement issues including the preparation of an RFP for technical assistance. Establishing qualifications for a developer/partner. Who should receive notice of the RFP and why? Learning what HUD is looking for and why. A project budget is a living thing. Architectural design elements and the design charrette. The role of New Urbanism in HOPE VI. How to create a buzz of support for your proposal. How and why to contact your US Congressperson. What is leverage and how to get it? Traps and pitfalls. Signing the grant agreement. Reporting to HUD.
Developer selection, procurement and the RFP. The developer’s contract, fees, profits and liability. Getting the most out of a developer. Establishing the boundaries of the HOPE VI impact area. Selecting the elements of a plan from tenant relocation, demolition, Section 8 certificates, further assurances agreements, home ownership plans, tenant newsletters, welfare to work programs, campus of learners, infill housing, mixed finance, mixed income tenancy, market rate design, market rate amenities, Section 3, MBE/WBE participation, community building, designated housing plans, tenant admission policies, private management, and the rest of the HOPE VI arsenal. Land leases, subordination, foreclosure and other elements of the deal. Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling. Creating a contingency plan. Contingency funding. The impact of Davis Bacon wage. The union question.

New Urbanism and its special value to HOPE VI and public housing residents. Taking inventory of the site. Rehab vs. new construction. Retaining design approval. Market rate design. Design charrettes and who to invite, how to manage them, how to evaluate the results and why they work. The pool, tennis court, game room and other amenities. Understanding your design objectives. Designing for the market, tenant and property manager. Managing the architect. Reusing utility lines and roads. City streets or private roads. Getting the city agencies involved early. What good design should cost and how to avoid paying too much. Construction cost estimating during the design process. Designing with Davis Bacon in mind.

What is a mixed finance plan and how to create one? Learning a State’s tax credit system. Building a checklist of possible financing sources. What HUD wants to see in a mixed-finance plan. Bond financing, bank financing, foundations, grants, corporate sponsors and learning how to find more money than is needed. Maximizing all non-cash funding sources. How to involve local corporations from the giants to the corner store. Do you need a change in the State’s statutes? How to sell tax credits with as little overhead cost as possible. The developer’s contribution and financing fees.

Understanding the importance of bringing the entire PHA/Resident family into the process. Telling the painful truth. Getting the tenants to turn out and speak their mind. How to manage the PHA/tenant relationship. Creating realistic expectations. Quelling resident fears. The value and cost of resident cooperation. Rewarding resident successes. Race is an issue. Residents in design charrettes and planning meetings. Residents and HUD. Resident relocation rights. Moving costs. Residents and welfare to work programs, family contracts, Section 3, resident businesses and related issues. Further Assurances Agreements. Maintaining resident contact and confidence throughout the development process. Screening of returning residents. Creating a resident training video for all tenants. Preparing returning residents for their new life. Transforming the old resident council to the new one. Election of resident leadership. Training sessions for returning residents. Preparing residents for new lease requirements and living in a mixed income community. The importance of a realistic completion date and move in schedule. Move in day. Tennis anyone? Maintenance staff and procedures. When to say no.

The contractor is not your friend. Keeping your focus on cost, quality and the schedule. Bid or Construction Management. Fast track, the quick and the dead. Bulletproof demolition and construction documents. Code compliance, OSHA, the fire marshal and other hurdles. Planning and Zoning. Water and sewer services. Section 3 compliance and how to create viable resident owned businesses that will survive. Deregulation of electrical, cable, telephone and Internet services and what it means to you. The bidding process. Davis Bacon wage certifications, when and why. Sales tax issues in your state and city. Evaluation of the bids and bidders. Contracts – whose, why, when and what for. The art of change orders. Product substitutions. Testing soil compaction, concrete and other construction components. How to prepare for the inevitable. Dealing with politically connected developers and contractors. Getting MBE/WBE participation in the construction process. Construction inspections – why, of what, when, by whom, certified by, keeping records and serving notice of problems. Building permits, wetlands, environmental permits, dumping receipts, certificates of occupancy and other job documentation. Onsite project staff and their duties. Warranties and the punch list. Whether and when to shut down a job. The HUD visit. The union visit. The Secretary’s visit.

Understanding that successfully marketing and managing a property starts with the original development plan. The tenant is the customer. Changing site identity. Identify and study your competition. What is the market? The ins and outs of private management. What investors really want to see in a manager and what is really needed. How to select, compensate and manage a manager. Finding, evaluating and selecting tenants. Income tiering and unit selection. Creating a tenant training video. Marketing materials. Staff training, admission policies, unit maintenance, rent collection, financial reports and the details of success. Firing your manager. Investor relations. Union relations.

How to put the pieces together while keeping the big picture in focus. Accurate information begets good decisions. Staffing the job. Tracking the job. Keeping records. Understanding the development process. The triangle of dynamic conflict. Conflict resolution. Who’s in control? Why there needs to be a Donald Trump. Who’s at risk and why. Anticipating and planning for PHA staff changes. Saboteurs within. How much grant money does the PHA get? Budgets for HUD vs. reality. How to establish, hold and use the reins on the developer. Managing HUD. Avoiding a visit from HUD auditors, the IG or the FBI and what to do when they arrive. Winning is not always the same as being right. Keeping your eye on The Box and success.

All seminars are held on-site with the staff of a single housing authority. Each of the topics above is covered in the initial two-day seminar (14 hours) as an introduction to HOPE VI. Individual one and a half day weekend seminars are then available for in-depth training on each of the topics. Each seminar is limited to ten participants and involves between three and five training staff, depending on the topic.

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