2016 Equity Report

Northwest Housing Alternatives


Board of Directors March 2017

‘Equity means all people have an equal opportunity to meet their essential needs, advance their well being, achieve their goals, and shape their present and future.’

Organizational Culture

Goals for 2016 included increasing the diversity and equity-awareness of our staff and board through intentional recruitment, development of foundational knowledge about privilege and bias, and clear communication of equity goals to our community partners.

The Equity Committee was re-chartered to reflect new goals and is now led in rotation by members across the organization.

Training Attendance

Board: 80%

Staff: 97.3%

2017: 8 hours of training/staff annually.

100% attendance.

Training Topics

Interrupting Racism, LGBTQ Inclusion 101,  Privilege and Bias

Implement 18 month Intercultural Development Inventory Plan

Areas of Growth

Diversity of staff and board does not approximate 2015 Oregon census. Creative and meaningful recruitment strategies are necessary to meet this goal.

Develop recruitment strategy to attract and retain diverse staff and board.

Administration and Finance

2017: We will develop benchmarks for MWESB vendors in our food and large supply vendors lists. Expanding our pool will allow us to increase NHA’s strategic financial impact in our community.

Expanding NHA’s use of minority, women-owned and emerging small businesses in 2017 will focus on the areas of auditing and administrative vendors in multiple key areas.

NHA Audit

Identified potential MWESB firms in both Oregon and Washington and included in our outreach for NHA’s Audit RFP.  Selected a new WBE audit firm with strong equity commitments.

2016 Property Audit

2 property audits were given to Merina & Co, an Oregon firm with minority and women principals.


The team will analyze categories of purchases where we repeatedly use small vendors and create strategies for expanding the pool to include more MWESB vendors.

Homeless Intervention Services

Culturally-specific Resource Guide

Created user-friendly guide designed based on needs for families, categorized by service provider & type of service offered. Includes hundreds of organizations.

2017 Goal: All forms at 8th grade reading level & will include gender inclusive language

Culturally Specific Partners

HIS team is actively developing partnerships with:

Clackamas Women’s Services

Northwest Family Services

Metropolitan Family Service

2017 Goal: Focus will be on deepening relationships on a multi-departmental basis.

Goal is 6-7 new contacts.

Resident Services

Disparate Impact

2015 move-outs showed no disparate impact on nonwhite households. Move-out comparisons by race/ethnicity were a statistical match for the racial makeup of each property.

2016 move-outs showed a different picture.

Nonwhite households made up 33% of the negative move-outs (eviction, skips, forced move-outs, or excessive damage to the unit)

Conversely, nonwhite households only comprised 16% of the positive move-outs.

While on its face this data seems to indicate a problem, we notice that it is in part related to the small pool of households.

2017 will require close attention to any emerging trends.

$.75 Bilingual Premium

Implemented to allow bilingual staff to prioritize time translating, interpreting, and providing culturally-specific services.

Allowed NHA to move  translation in-house, saving funds & improving translation accuracy.

50% Annual Resident Survey

Slow roll out over course of year based on one-on-one interactions with Res. Svc. Coordinators to increase representation of people who receive services regularly. To begin summer 2017.

3 Questions: Equity & Inclusion Survey

Questions asked of residents:

1) Have you ever experienced or observed disrespectful behavior based on race, gender, gender identity, or any other basis at your property?

2) Do you feel you’re a part of your housing community?

3) Do you feel comfortable being your true self in your housing community?

Resource Development

External Communication

2016 focused on tracking translation progress.

Spanish materials are progressing;

No communication currently exists in Russian.

2017: Complete translation of Annie Ross House communication into Spanish and Russian languages.

Social Media

New Goals for 2017

Create equitable social media plan to ensure access for and representation of NHA’s clients

Develop standardized equity language for use in grant writing, internal, and external communications related to equity initiatives

Promote equity NHA accomplishments through available social media platforms and new website

Diversity in Messaging

Current communication materials accurately represent diversity of NHA clients and partners. Website is being updated to reflect the population NHA serves.

New website will include translation into Spanish and Russian.

Housing Development

Hawthorne East MWESB Participation
MWESB: ‘Minority, Women, Emerging Small Businesses’

25% of vendors represented MBE subcontractors

Total contract value $1,372,713

1% of vendors represented WBE  subcontractors

Total contract value $46,934

6% of vendors represented ESB subcontractors

Total contract value  $345,549

4,115 hours of work went to Section 3 hires, representing 16% of total hours worked


Difficulty getting Sec. 3 numbers from general contractors on previously completed projects…
Sec. 3: Low income, local hires


In 2017, make delivery of final MWESB and Sec. 3 numbers  (as applicable) a requirement for final contractor installment payments.

How is Housing Development prioritizing MWESB and Section 3 participation outside the metro area?

Projects outside the metro area have difficulty meeting the min. 20% & 5% thresholds we’ve established.

The recent RFQ for architecture & general contracting may help us build capacity statewide to increase participation.

Asset Management

MWESB utilization in the DD homes portfolio

• $376,747 investment towards MWB

• 51.49 % of total contract $ went to further social equity, up 1.57% over 2015

• Of total number of contracts 53.92% were awarded to MWB    

Effectiveness of Affirmative Fair Market Housing Plans

• All properties finalized & approved for new equity-focused AFMHP with HUD

• All management, executive, & onsite staff completed a social equity training

• All property managing agents developed & implemented agency equity plan  

Evaluating Cultural Diversity and Competency of Site Staff

Given the wide range of respondents & participation challenges, and given NHA’s new efforts in the 2017 AFHMP-Equity initiative, onsite staff survey will be suspended. Reinitiation planned after a few years of a highly integrated AFMHP-equity initiative,

Evaluating Property Composition Compared to Market Area and Census Data

• Hawthorne East’s 4 month AFMHP Equity Focused Pilot Project complete

• 42% success rate from referral to applicant.

• Direct marketing costs for 5 culturally-specific media outlets = $6,368.

  16.23% increase in wait list diversity

MWESB goal  of 10% Exceeded!

Cascade 15.07%

Affinity 30.67%

IPM 18.69%