Asset management is a term that describes decision-making techniques for choosing a strategy to maximize the value of an income-producing property within the context of meeting the basic mission of the organization. Asset management plans for affordable housing need to balance the quantitative and qualitative issues so that the investors, residents, and community-at-large are well served.
Housing quality standards are reflected in the organizations’ focus on plant improvements such as upgrading apartments, including green and sustainable design concepts, as well as exterior building and yard upgrades.
How the properties fit into the neighborhood and consequently how they are perceived requires focusing on curb appeal, historical relevance, and good maintenance. The properties at 901 Massachusetts Avenue and Market/Windsor properties are but two examples of buildings where historical upgrades to the building envelopes make them amongst the most attractive in their neighborhood and become the catalyst and contributor to raising the bar for the whole neighborhood. Keeping abreast of current innovations in the marketplace also led to the installation of a Cogeneration plant at 808–812 Memorial Drive. The focus on saving energy has been and will continue to be a hallmark of the overall asset plan.
Financial accountability includes understanding the net operating income and what can be changed to improve it.
It also includes long-term planning to ensure that there is sufficient money to pay for improvements and innovations when they are needed. CNAHS has been increasing its reserves and leveraging the improvements to continue to ensure the sustainable affordability of its asset and to minimize its reliance on funds from government sources to fix problems.
CNAHS’s strong asset management program has ensured that the portfolio of properties is operationally and financially stable. This is especially important given the stress in the funding environment for resident subsidies.
Recently, CNAHS ’s Auburn Court development was featured in a study sponsored by the Ford foundation. This study focused on successful strategies for developing and owning mixed-income, mixed-race housing. This report identifies the stewardship of the asset from development and continuing through operations as a key ingredient in the success of the asset management program for Auburn Court and for the overall portfolio.