Over 20 Network members joined for a morning of in-depth presentations and interactive exercises exploring strategies for siting a new supportive housing residence.
On the morning of April 9th, 22 Network members gathered to learn more about the art of siting supportive housing. The workshop included presentations from Cynthia Stuart, the Network’s Chief Operating Officer, and Ralph Fasano, Executive Director of Concern for Independent Living, extensive discussion among members and an opportunity to examine and respond to fictional siting scenarios.
Cynthia provided an overview of the many nuances that developers must consider from the very beginning of their siting process, focusing on critical aspects of research, communications, outreach, and relationship-building. She also shared some key moments in supportive housing history in which early leaders of the field solidified some of the best thinking on how to best connect with diverse communities around New York.
Ralph presented invaluable anecdotes of collaborating with communities throughout New York State to develop supportive housing. He shared first-hand experiences, set-backs, and triumphs in the field; advice on how to anticipate local news media coverage; and even humorous and inspiring memories from over 30 years of participation in community planning meetings.
Half of the workshop was dedicated to breakout groups, facilitated by the Network, in which attendees put into “practice” what they had just learned. Three groups analyzed two unique scenarios crafted by Network staff to help attendees understand some of the key variables to consider when working out a siting strategy. These variables included development partners involved in the project, project limitations, neighborhood characteristics and socio-economic profiles, community or zoning board dynamics, political considerations, and personalities of various stakeholders, among others.
The Network thanks Robin Hood Foundation for lending their space and Ralph again for joining us for this great learning opportunity.