Important updates regarding Hello Stewardship
The leadership of Hello Housing has made the difficult decision to close Hello Stewardship, our program to manage Below-Market Rate programs on behalf of cities and market-rate developers subject to inclusionary zoning requirements. Since our launch of Hello Stewardship in 2012, we grew our portfolio of BMRs under management from approximately 150 homes to nearly 2,600 homes by 2020. Each BMR program brings with it unique program goals, requirements, processes and procedures, which are reflective of each city’s local priorities and ways of working. Within each city, as priorities changed over time, so did these programs, adding further complexity to the overall administration. While we were able to use technology to efficiently scale many parts of this work, the costs to attract, train and retain the top talent needed to provide high-quality services have continued to exceed revenues. As we looked ahead to 2021, we could not see a path to recovering our costs without reducing staff, and therefore quality of service. Between now and April 30th, Hello Housing will be transitioning its BMR contracts back to its cities who will either manage this work in-house or onboard a new provider. We will update each city’s webpage for details as they become available.
As of May 1st, a smaller, restructured Hello Housing will continue to advance housing solutions that promote stability, center equity and cultivate community. Hello Housing will manage AC Boost, Alameda County’s down payment assistance program, the City of Emeryville’s affordable housing program and Bright in Your Own Backyard, which helps homeowners add Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to their home.
A heartfelt thank you to all of our partners for your ongoing commitment to helping traditionally-underserved communities access quality Below Market Rate housing in the Bay Area.