A New Vision for PCHTF's Future

Board and staff start work on a new strategic plan

A New Vision for PCHTF's Future

Housing Tomorrow helps us predict what the region’s housing needs will be over the next 35 years.  Last week the Board of Directors of the Polk County Housing Trust fund spent some time planning how to respond to those needs.

Beginning with a community engagement session on Thursday evening at the Des Moines Social Club, the Board heard from a wide range of community members who have a stake in the work of the organization and the implementation of Housing Tomorrow.  With that input, as well as input collected from board members over the last few weeks, our facilitator Michelle Winters of Winters Community Strategies and a Visiting Fellow at the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing, guided the Board through a critical examination of our Mission and Vision.  Changes in the organization over the past 4 years and the challenges identified in Housing Tomorrow both call for a reexamination of these two foundational statements.

In addition, new challenges call for new goals and strategies to meet the Vision. Housing Tomorrow identifies some of these.  With Michelle’s national perspective on what best practices are producing results in other regions, she encouraged the Board to broaden its understanding of how the PCHTF might have a bigger impact on affordable housing.

Finally, organizational governance and fundraising received a critical review.  Both relate to making the PCHTF a sustainable force for more affordable housing and improved housing policy in the region.  Building on the experience and connections of the Board of Directors, the organization can continue to increase funds dedicated to affordable housing and make the experience of Board service more satisfying.

With all the raw information collected last Friday, Michelle, PCHTF staff and the Governance Committee will work over the next 90 days to have a draft plan, including strategies and timeline for implementation ready for the Board to review at its January 2016 meeting.  Thanks to Polk County and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines for underwriting this important exercise.