Equitable Development Academy / Affordable Housing Academy
NDC’s Equitable Development Academy (EQDA) and Affordable Housing Academy (AHDA) are aimed at increasing the capacity of start-up to smaller, existing developers through classroom learning, case studies, topical “deep dives” using national, state and local experts, and a capstone project.
• The Academies start with classroom learning to ensure all participants involved have a baseline knowledge of concepts (return on investment, risk, sources and uses) and terminology like: Net Operating Income (NOI), Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR), Loan-to-Value ratio (LTV), Cash-on-Cash (CoC), Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Depending on the initial needs’ assessment, generally 2 to 4 days of classroom learning is scheduled including at least a ½ day session on NDC’s Excel-based pro forma.
• Case studies (one to several) follow each development concept. Case studies immediately put concepts to work and reinforce concepts through application. Initial case studies are completed by hand rather than computers because calculating by hand, again, reinforces the understanding of how the numbers interact. The last case study(ies) are completed on NDC’s Excel-based pro forma in order to build familiarity with electronic pro forma and sensitivity testing.
• As students work on their capstone project, engagement in development topics are continued with topical “deep dives” in subjects that may only get a brief amount of time in the classroom. Utilizing local experts on issues from environmental law, navigating local zoning and site plan processes, hiring an architect, raising equity and hiring construction professionals, the deep dives can be formatted as either speakers or panelists and are meant to both provide a deeper understanding of important topics but also to connect participants with local experts.
• As a final activity, participants create a development pitch as a capstone project. Typically, the development pitch is for the same site (for example City-owned land) however, it is also possible to have participants find their own project on which to create their development pitch. Throughout the post-classroom period, participants can access development mentors to aid in issues of massing, layout, design and financing. Particularly when the same site is being used, an architect development mentor is engaged to provide basic templates of the property (in both hard copy and computer-aided design version). At the end of the project planning period, participants (or groups) present their development to an expert panel.