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Clarify Your Purpose and Available Resources

Clarifying your mission is critical. It will help you figure out the resources you’re going to need and what gaps (if any) exist.

  1. What does the neighbourhood need? (Conduct a needs assessment: local market/demand.)
  2. Is providing housing your primary goal? (Or are you interested in sustainable communities, or supportive services?)
  3. Articulate a strategic vision and objectives.
  4. Is the goal to provide land for housing only, or land and housing? Green housing? Co-housing?
  5. Are you aiming to build or acquire existing housing?
  6. Review assets: how will you find money and land? (Consider both equity contributions and borrowing.)
  7. Consider partnering with other active organizations or a community land trust.

Whether for your own purposes or to have conversations with others, you need to be able to clearly express your goals and where you fit in with the needs of your neighbourhood and potential members. Realistically assessing what resources you can draw on is important. If you don’t have money, or land, or experience developing housing, working with others is the most practical way forward.