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Affordable Housing , Announcements , Community Development , Homelessness , Reports and Publications

Blueprint for Housing Makes Data Accessible For All

26 November 2013

Christopher Brechlin is the Principal and Founder of Blueprint for a Dream.

The 2013 Housing Data Profiles, recently released by the Partnership are an important tool for shaping housing policy and programs across Connecticut. They help establish a shared way to think about needs statewide.

In the Windham Region, our Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness  had been working since 2007 to bring together partners and meet the area’s housing need. However, six years and more than 100 new housing units later, regional partners were all using their own language to communicate about local issues. 

In the collaborative spirit of the Ten Year Plan, we used a collective impact approach to sculpt a tool that simplifies the way that public and private partners work together, using data to create affordable housing and end homelessness.

With support from the Liberty Bank Foundation (LBF) and SI Financial Group Foundation, as well as leadership from Jeff Beadle, Executive Director at Windham Regional Community Council, and Sue Murphy, Executive Director at LBF, we created Blueprint for Housing.

It is a user-friendly way to ensure that all of our partners carry an information toolkit into meetings or events. In addition, we know that data is exceptionally valuable, but often hard to translate for many of the people who need to use it. Blueprint for Housing provides definitions and guidance on how to use the data.

One important feature is the ability to look at need on a neighborhood level, which has dramatically changed how we see issues in the Windham Region. The chart below shows how different household income can look when the perspective changes. (Note: Willimantic is a village within Windham.)

Blueprint for Housing has already been used in writing successful funding proposals and informing the ongoing dialogue of the Windham Region Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. We intend to continue improving it and using it to change the way we approach ending homelessness in the region.

Blueprint for Housing was developed by the Affordable Housing Committee of the Ten Year Plan, in partnership with Blueprint for a Dream, a social enterprise using data to rethink, reboot, and scale social impact by partnering with nonprofit, government, and business leaders.

Christopher Brechlin is the Principal and Founder of Blueprint for a Dream.

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