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  • Heather PresleyCowen

Forward Thinking: The Key to Unlocking Housing Potential in Your Community

In the realm of community development and housing solutions, there's a crucial choice every leader faces: to look back or to look ahead. While traditional housing studies offer a retrospective analysis, the future-focused strategy of the H.O.M.E. Method opens up a world of untapped potential. It's about vision, courage, and the relentless pursuit of what's possible.

The Limitation of Looking Back

Traditional housing studies often focus on past trends and data. While this information is valuable, it can unintentionally tether a community's aspirations to its history. An example from a recent project in a county grappling with population decline illustrates this. A standard housing study suggested the county could only absorb 17 new housing units, basing its findings on past trends of population loss.

The Power of Forward Thinking

Contrast this with the H.O.M.E. Method's market potential analysis, which unveils the potential for up to 275 new housing units annually. This isn’t about gazing into a crystal ball; it’s about adopting a forward-thinking perspective. Our approach doesn’t just dwell on where a community has been but envisions its vibrant future. It transcends traditional constraints, exploring untapped market potentials and future possibilities. You might wonder how two analyses could yield such different results – 17 units versus 275. The answer lies in perspective: one is anchored in the past, relying solely on historical data and current population trends, while the other is propelled by understanding the barriers that deter people from relocating to, or within, the county.

I often emphasize, "housing is economic development". Indeed, housing is a cornerstone of a community's infrastructure, akin to a vital organ in its body. It can be a magnet attracting growth or a barrier repelling it. Housing is personal and deeply impactful. Effective governance means not only delivering efficiency but also ensuring high-quality living environments and adequate housing – utilizing community assets like water, sewer, and infrastructure to their fullest potential. Like any successful enterprise, a community must view its housing needs through the lens of its customer base, including both current and prospective residents. Communities that strive to understand the housing preferences of homebuyers and renters, and address them effectively, will emerge as victors in the ongoing battle against the housing crisis.

The Mindset for Success

To create meaningful change, community leaders must adopt a mindset that is:

  • Visionary: Seeing beyond current challenges to what could be possible.

  • Courageous: Willing to take calculated risks and make bold decisions.

  • Resilient: Staying the course, even in the face of setbacks or slow progress.

Staying the Course

The journey towards transformative housing solutions is seldom a straightforward one. It is a path laden with both predictable hurdles and unexpected challenges. Yet, it is in navigating these complexities that true leadership is forged. The essence of transformative leadership is resilience – the ability to remain steadfast in pursuit of a vision, particularly during turbulent times. This tenacity is what distinguishes true changemakers.

Understanding market potential might be straightforward, but leveraging this insight to shape the future demands more than just analysis. It calls for a blend of determination, grit, creativity, and unwavering tenacity. This journey isn't suited for those who waver in the face of uncertainty or are daunted by skepticism. While skepticism itself is not a barrier – it can indeed be a healthy means of fostering understanding – it must be directed towards grasping the efficacy of forward-thinking strategies.

However, reshaping a housing market and revitalizing the systems crucial for consistent and efficient housing production and absorption is a process that unfolds over time. It requires a patient yet persistent approach. To community leaders embarking on this audacious path, remember: the complexities we face in housing today are the result of decades, even centuries, of development. Unraveling and addressing these intricacies won't happen overnight.

This is where #swagger steps in – it's about leadership that recognizes potential, commits to realizing it, and refuses to settle for mediocrity. Anything less than this kind of #swagger simply won't suffice. I advise this path only to those who possess the mindset to embrace these challenges, acknowledging the inherent risks and holding onto the conviction needed to persevere.

The H.O.M.E. Method: A Beacon of Hope

The H.O.M.E. Method isn't just a strategy; it's a call to action for community leaders. It encourages looking forward with optimism, making decisions not just based on what has been but what could be. It's about building not just housing, but communities that thrive and grow.


As we close out 2023, let's commit to a mindset of forward-thinking leadership. Let's choose to be visionary, courageous, and resilient. Let's not seek answers in the rearview mirror but set our sights on the horizon. It's time to embrace the potential of our communities and make bold strides towards a future of abundant, sustainable housing.

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