Who shall be without a home?
A home for every person is the vision of this unique and powerful resource network for developing basic housing for all Albertans. Now is time to take proper action for people everywhere because a home is a basic human right.
The initiative provides the means to create enough basic housing for everyone in an environmentally friendly manner, at costs affordable to everyone by means of a network which organizes the market for basic housing.
This comprehensive resource network would enable funding, planning, technology development for and community development of housing projects within an information structure which streamlines project time lines, maximizes funding opportunities and provides expertise in all requisite areas for projects to complete successfully.
The business would develop in stages to assist in the vision of creating affordable and non-profit housing projects to address basic housing needs for a significant number of Albertans:
- a web site for expertise and funding, including a web ring.
- an internet portal with information, features and services.
- a resource marketplace and information technology provider.
- transactions, funding, technology transfer, projects
Its mission is to augment existing linked or unlinked resources. The focus it creates will have an accumulative effect which will multiply the amount of housing able to be provided with currently available resources because it will offer new knowledge, expertise and efficiencies and it will draw in added expertise, funding and technology. A broad based, multidisciplinary network from all types of participants (specified below) has the potential to generate viable and effective solutions for this type of housing.
One possible long range effect will be to create greater availability of resources and increased delivery of housing. If the network were to organize the resource market for this type of project, new participants and funding would be drawn in. Providing resources for housing within this sector is vital to the social and economic well-being of many Albertans. This will benefit Alberta society as a whole by addressing this pressing situation today.
What Would Make This Service Self-Sustaining
Wide Usage - generated by superior information, funding, technology and transaction support.
Cooperative structure rewards participation.
Sustainable - commissions payable on transactions.
Adaptability - rewards innovators by providing a marketplace for services, funding, and technology
Competitive advantage - members have special access to funding, technology, case histories, historical data.
Who Would Participate
For those agencies, non-governmental and governmental, which address non-profit housing as part of their mission, there is interest in obtaining services and expertise to allow them to develop housing as well as to participate in development and funding partnerships.
From a funding point of view there is great interest in having case studies available when determining how to structure funding. Here is an entrepreneurial approach to dealing with something which governments and agencies find problematic.\Consultants, regulators, community participants and others also would see a benefit to accessing information, and being able to provide information.
Everyone concerned with any basic housing project at any phase in the process of developing, building, funding, regulating, approving, planning, designing, living in or organizing such projects could become a member of this network with attending rights and obligations. A listing of interested potential participants and suggested participants is included in this proposal. Throughout the process of providing services to this constituency, word of mouth and an active marketing program will increase the network.
Some participants would require the tools to participate. The network would suggest sources of internet computers and would offer web space. On the larger scale, initiatives would be taken for structuring development of users capability both individually and collectively to store and access information. Larger users may wish to fund information technology development and it would be in their interest to do so.
How to Set Up
Structuring information on the one hand, and providing a business structure on the other hand are both essential to this plan to assist those developing non-profit and low cost housing. While the resources provided would be determined by needs expressed by users and participants, our proposal outlines the manner in which information and transactions would be structured.
The information will be provided, ultimately once the network is established, by members of the network who will be obligated to supply certain facts regarding their projects and work. The obligations for supplying this information and the rights to retrieving it are to be set forth within the business structure which the network determines for such transactions. The long term success of the network depends upon its usefulness to members - the quality, reliability and quantity of information - and upon its ability to sustain itself in business by providing a robust and reliable service which has adequate funding to implement its mission. We expect that once established, this network will sustain itself through charges for services in the beginning and upon commissions on transactions when it can develop this capability. At the point at which it can track transactions, it could become a marketplace for resources.
Two apparent divisions of effort could be termed implementation and marketing, although these occur concurrently. At least half of the work, in order for this program to be successful, will be to develop an information and business product which has appeal and validity in the minds of users, and which will provide a valuable service to the many constituents - the providers and users of housing. A large part of this work is to discover and identify participants, and to determine the organization of this structure in a way that enables them to participate.
The other great work will be to explain, to create investment value in the minds of participants, and establish relationships among participants which set the wheels in motion for the network to begin functioning in the crux of the marketplace for basic housing. As noted, the mission of this program is to create a viable and significant market for basic housing development resources among a diffuse constituency.
Stages of Growth of the Business
We can understand that the business will develop first as a web site in support of expertise and funding, then as a portal with multiple departments, features and services, then as a resource market which delivers focused information and tracks and further implements transactions.
Basic Housing Market
First, we plan to establish an electronic information service for historical information, a transaction marketplace, a resources network, and collaborative work groups. There will be links to member services within an accessible and scalable database structure which will be the subject of proprietary development. The enterprise will then be able provide full communicatons and information services to membership.
Development of the Portal
The service would provide tools for housing development to organizations. The web site would enable an organization to complete a housing development feasibility study and strategic plan. The service will organize housing development into four phases; pre-development, financing, construction, mortgage financing and maintenance. Topics will include identifying appropriate zoning for projects, site search, budget forecasting, completing a feasibility study, developing a pro-forma, funding sources, consultants, regulations, government liaison, and so on.
Transistioning to a Market: Three Stages, Three Levels
Our vision for this plan has evolved over the past several years to include three levels of operation and three stages of implementation. While there can be no doubt of the need for action, our challenge, at this point is to subject our vision to the realities of implementation with adequate funding resources in order to establish the viability and usefulness of this program.
Starting from the most advanced stage of this vision, third level business transactions will generate income for the program based on commissions payable to the network from transactions, second level memberships will underwrite certain costs and provide a supply of information, and first level activities will promote awareness and involvement within target participants.
Ideally we would like to enjoy seed funding and membership funding from numerous participants who can determine their stake and ownership in such a program early. However, most participants will find it easier to identify value in a product when they can see a sample. A first step is to cultivate funding and participatory relationships at this time, and it is essential to create a valuable product with the resources at hand now, so that people will be interested to join.
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