The Foundation for Community Health (FCH), Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF), and The Fund for the Northwest Corner, have come together to support local efforts to create affordable housing opportunities in our region in partnership with the Litchfield County Center for Housing Opportunity (LC-CHO).
Based on community feedback we’ve heard that many residents and elected officials are eager to move from talking about this issue to seeing progress in action. Progress could mean fostering stronger public will to support town meeting votes or zoning approvals that will result in the creation of housing opportunities that are affordable. It could also mean the intentional leveraging of resources (funding, time, support) across organizations and sectors that lead to the same outcomes.
Our Goals for This Program
- Support collaborative processes that merge the need for housing solutions and economic growth with long-term commitments to conservation of the region's natural beauty and;
- Help build a robust pipeline of feasible affordable housing opportunities in the region through efforts that build public will, foster cross-sector collaboration, and provide support to our all-volunteer local housing non-profits to move projects from concept to reality.
Through this program it is anticipated that 3 to 6 communities will receive grant funds to support community outreach strategies and/or project planning activities that involve cross-sector participation including conservation organizations and other local boards, committees, and organizations. In addition, direct technical assistance will be provided by LC-CHO to help explore or pursue specific affordable housing development opportunities to build a pipeline of projects in the region.
Eligibility to Apply
Eligible organizations to apply for this program must be:
- a town-sponsored board or committee OR
- a nonprofit or faith-based organization
Organizations must serve at least one of the following towns in northwest Litchfield County that are in the BTCF and FCH service areas. (Proposals that serve multiple towns will also be considered):
- Canaan/Falls Village
- North Canaan
Requests should increase meaningful and relevant cross sector collaboration and community engagement in one or several of the eligible towns (listed above). Example activities include, but are not limited to:
- Targeted outreach to landowners who might be interested in a pilot project that combined conservation and affordable housing on their land.
- Creation of a strategy and policy map showing priority areas for conservation and for affordable housing. (See example: rpa.org/hudson-valley-affordable-housing-conservation-strategy)
- Develop and implement a communications strategy that will engage residents and cross-sector partners.
- Create a webinar series highlighting how the housing, conservation, economic development and/or food access stakeholders can/are working together.
- Host workshops, presentations, neighborhood or cross-sector conversations that help engage the community in this work in a new way and/or solicit community feedback.
- Conduct a feasibility analysis on a specific site, parcel, or building or help identifying and/or accessing funding opportunities for projects.
In addition, direct technical assistance will be provided by LC-CHO to help explore or pursue specific affordable housing development opportunities or assist with the activities listed above. We recognize that each community is in a different place in terms of public will and partnership building, some may want to build on an activity already underway. Just let us know what would be helpful in your community that you might need some flexible funding and/or technical assistance or project support to pursue.
What do you mean by cross-sector collaboration?
We mean a two-way dialog with people, groups, and organizations that are not engaged in the “housing space” on a day-to-day basis. For example, conservation organizations, employers, educators, faith communities, and economic development committees.
Proposals are due by October 30, 2023.
Award announcements will be made by November 20th. Grantees will have up to 9 months to complete their project.
Proposals should include the following information:
- Name of town or organization
- Amount requested
- Activities proposed to be carried out
- List of cross-sector collaborators that will be involved in the work
- How these proposed activities build on previous or ongoing affordable housing efforts
- Anticipated results of the proposed activities
- Describe the kinds of technical assistance or project support that might be needed
Proposals will be reviewed with the following criteria:
- Alignment between program goals and proposed activities.
- Approach and rationale towards community engagement strategies/activities
- Strength and utilization of community partnerships and cross sector collaboration
- Consistency of the proposed activities with the Litchfield County CHO Case Making Playbook
Please submit the proposals by email to:
For more information or assistance, please contact Jocelyn at (860) 806-5696 or firstname.lastname@example.org