Why Building Affordable Housing Matters
As complex as the issue of affordable housing is, it boils down to an imbalance in supply and demand. There are simply not enough low-cost housing units to meet the demand of low-income households. As a result, too many households lose out on one of the most fundamental necessities of life – a place to call home. That’s where Catalyst Construction comes in. We take on projects that move Wisconsin closer to meetings its demand for affordable housing and creating opportunities for low-income families to procure comfortable low-cost housing and subsequently develop better communities.
But creating high quality affordable living spaces for low-income families is only part of the solution to this problem. At Catalyst Construction we take a macroscopic approach to affordable housing by considering the totality of a project’s scope – not just what the finished product will be but the people involved in building it. We’ve done this with a track record of meeting and often exceeding the local and federal government requirements for all of our HUD and WHEDA projects for SBE (Small Business Enterprises), MBE (Minority Business Enterprises), WBE (Women Business Enterprises), DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises), RPP (Residence Preference Program), and Section 3 hiring needs. In other words, our affordable housing approach is an effort to make a positive impact in the lives of the people who build the affordable housing units in our portfolio as well as in the lives of the families who end up making those units their home.
To illustrate our compliance with these mandates, consider the Seven04 Place Apartments in Milwaukee. This project required 40% RPP hiring and 25% SBE, WBE, EBE (Emerging Business Enterprises), and MBE hiring. Catalyst reached 73% on the 40% RPP hiring requirement and 41% on the SBE requirement along with 8 new hires. Additionally, the Point Place building – Catalyst’s recently completed four-story low-income senior housing project with CommonBond Communities in Madison – exceeded all SBE, MBE, and DBE hiring requirements while one of our currently under-construction affordable housing projects – the THIRTEEN31 Place Apartments in Milwaukee – is projecting 31% SBE hiring on a 25% mandate and 31% Section 3 hiring on a 10% mandate.
All told, these number speak to Catalyst’s commitment not only to an exemplary affordable housing project upon completion but also to utilizing and uplifting unemployed and underemployed members of the great American workforce to carry out its construction. We have an expansive network of strategic operation and development partners that allow us to help with equity, guarantees, and other critical elements of the affordable housing construction process. It is our experience combined with this partner network that gives us a thorough understanding of this unique market as well as how the process needs to progress from an owner’s standpoint. In short, Catalyst Construction has established a 360-degree panoramic view of the affordable housing landscape and we stand ready to lead Wisconsin through that challenging terrain to realize better low-cost housing options for the families that need them.