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This course focuses on two key elements of successful housing development efforts: the needs assessment and community engagement process. Both the needs assessment and community engagement strategies are cornerstones of the planning phase. A needs assessment will help ensure that the housing project is meeting the real needs of the community, while community engagement strategies are key to ensuring that community members are engaged over the long term, and a TriballyDesignated Housing Entity (TDHE) or a Tribe’s Housing Department has prepared, qualified homeowners or tenants once housing units are constructed. The first day of the course will provide an in-depth look at the needs assessment. We will explore a framework for carrying out a needs assessment, looking at what the needs assessment entails, why it is important, and who can carry it out. Participants will have an opportunity to analyze a sample needs assessment together, highlighting elements that they would want to incorporate into their own
assessment efforts, and then start designing an assessment for their community. Recognizing that the housing development process is often a lengthy one, on the second day of the course, we will look at how to keep community members engaged in the process over an extended period of time. We will examine the value of community buy-in and ownership (and how to achieve it), looking at the charrette model, incorporating educational components, and coordinated programming efforts, such as Individual Development Account (IDA programs) to assist families in staying engaged.
We will then outline other important components of the housing development process. We will conclude the course by having participants identify needs assessment and community engagement strategies that make the most sense for their organization, and outline the specific steps to implementing these strategies.

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