Sweetgrass Community Moving Forward
The Sweetgrass Community took a significant step forward with two days of project planning on September 21 and 22. Up until now we knew what we wanted to do and had established a strong core group of members and volunteers, but we did not clearly know how to do it. Now we have a much better understanding of all that is needed and we have a program structure to move forward and get it done.
In May of 2017 we attended the National Cohousing Conference that was held here in Nashville. At that conference we met David Berto of Housing Enterprises, Inc. He has been helping nonprofit organizations plan and develop housing projects for over 20 years, including community housing with a range of populations and incomes, just like we are doing. He is involved in each project from the time it is just an idea, all the way through conceptual planning, project details, approvals, funding, construction and transition to ongoing operations.
David came to Nashville for September 21 and 22 and provided over six hours of training and discussion on all aspects of making our project successful. It was extremely valuable, somewhat daunting and very comforting to see that we can do this.
Areas that were discussed included:
- Goals, Needs, Desires and Interests
- Market and Value
- Examples and Lessons Learned
- Community Residents, Diversity, Affordability, Abilities, Participation
- Community Layout, Homes, Clustering, Facilities, Land, Farming
- Organization Structure, Alternatives, Examples, Committees, Participation
- Project Construction Costs and Sources of Funding
- Project Operations Costs and Sources of Funding
- Next steps, timing and maintaining the excitement and progress!
We have hired David and his company to stay with us and continue to provide guidance and assistance in all aspects of our project until it is completed. You can see more information about his company at www.housingenterprises.com.
As a result of these intensive sessions, we now see the range of activities that need to be accomplished in parallel to make our goals become reality. There are great opportunities for others to join our group, either as a board member or just a much needed volunteer. There is much to be done. We are now working on all project areas listed above and a full range of assistance will be very valuable. If you are interested in helping in any way, please contact Mary Kay or Dave Walton, 615-292-1384 or email us at email@example.com.