Stewardship Standards Self-Assessment Instructions Available Here

Grounded Solutions Network

INTRODUCTION

About the Stewardship Standards Self-Assessment

This tool is a product of Grounded Solutions Network, developed by Cornerstone Partnership and the National Community Land Trust Network prior to their integration in 2016. It is designed to assist users in reviewing the required and optimal practices associated with each of the six Stewardship Standards for Homeownership (the “Standards”).

This assessment tool and its accompanying report are a work in progress, and we look forward to gathering feedback from practitioners to continue to refine this and other tools designed to bring best practices and helpful resources to the field. 

 

About the Stewardship Standards 

The Standards are available in full here, and we recommend that practitioners read the standards and practices in advance of completing the Self-Assessment for that standard. The full document includes links to helpful resources, tips for implementation, and quotes from practitioners, providing significantly more context and information than the list included in this Self-Assessment.

 

Overview

This tool is designed to allow flexibility in how it is used and who is involved in the self-assessment process. Although in many cases a program’s director will complete the assessment, it can be equally helpful when used by program staff, board members or others familiar with your program. 

As noted on the previous page, users should read the Stewardship Standards before completing the assessment. You may also want to have access to the Standards for reference while you complete this assessment.

Users should allow approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete the full assessment. Note that you may complete the assessment for only a portion of the six standards; however, at this time the assessment does not allow users to update or amend previous responses, or save an incomplete assessment if you need to return to it later.

Instructions

Step 1: Review each standard and its associated best practices and select the status that best describes the stage your program is at right now. Each practice in this assessment will have 2-3 options, along with "not applicable" option.

Step 2: Assign a priority rating to indicate how important it is for your program to address each practice in the future. This assessment includes the option of long-term, mid-term, short-term or not a goal.  Please note that if you select "not a goal" this practice will not appear in your final report; we recommend selecting “not a goal” only if your program has no intention of implementing a particular practice. 

Step 3: Click submit and your organization will receive a copy of your report by email within one business day. 

 

Next Steps

After the assessment is completed, it will provide a big-picture view of how well your program conforms to the Stewardship Standards and which practices you should implement to ensure future success. 

If practices have been thoughtfully prioritized, the report will give you a road map for how to improve management and performance.  It may also reveal some “red flags” if there are critical practices that have never been implemented. Even high-performing programs are likely to discover some areas for improvement.


Download a copy of these instructions, including Helpful Terms & Definitions here.

0 Organization Details
1 Program and Business Planning
2 Affordable Pricing
3 Mortgage Financing
4 Fair Housing and Buyer Selection
5 Resales
6 Support, Monitoring and Enforcement








0 Organization Details
1 Program and Business Planning
2 Affordable Pricing
3 Mortgage Financing
4 Fair Housing and Buyer Selection
5 Resales
6 Support, Monitoring and Enforcement
S 1.1 Clearly Articulate the Program’s Goals and Objectives
In order to operate effectively, programs need their objectives to be clearly stated and prioritized. This helps them track successes, make revisions to program design, and set budget priorities.
P 1.1a
For each program, maintain a written statement of program goals and objectives, community served, and geographic area covered.
Program has written statement of mission, goals and objectives informed by research of community needs.
Program has no written statement of mission, goals and objectives.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.1.2 Periodically review and update program design
Programs that periodically review and update program design create an opportunity to implement improved practices and respond to changing market conditions.
P 1.2a
At least every three years, evaluate your program’s effectiveness at meeting community need and review your program design (e.g. program rules, policies and procedures) to make sure it is current and reflects best practices.
Program design is reviewed and updated at least once every 3 years.
Program design has been reviewed and updated once, but is not reviewed on a periodic basis.
Staff (and board, if appropriate) have never reviewed and updated program’s design.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.1.3 Adopt detailed policies and procedures to direct program operations
Written operation guidelines ensure greater consistency in program implementation and preserve institutional knowledge about the program when staffing changes.
P 1.3a
Maintain a written program administrative manual with a detailed description of all program components. Program manual should cover ALL of the following elements:
  • Funding sources
  • Allowable loan types
  • Pricing
  • Refinance provisions
  • Marketing and outreach
  • Monitoring and enforcement
  • Application
  • Resales
  • Conflict of interest policy
  • Homebuyer selection
  • Records maintenance
Program has up to date administrative manual, with all essential program components.
Program has incomplete or outdated administrative manual.
Program has no administrative manual.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.1.4 Coordinate support from knowledgeable legal counsel.
Affordable homeownership transactions can be complex. Programs need access to legal counsel experienced in working with affordability restrictions, real estate contracts, homebuyer financing, and fair housing. This legal counsel should be familiar with federal, state and local laws that relate to affordable housing.
P 1.4a
Identify legal counsel that is knowledgeable about affordable homeownership programs.
Program has identified legal counsel experienced in affordable housing.
Program has not identified legal counsel that is knowledgeable about affordable housing programs.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.1.5 Manage real and perceived conflicts of interest
It is in the program’s best interest to manage perceived or real conflicts of interest in order to maintain credibility in the public eye.
P 1.5a
Adopt and follow a written conflict of interest policy.
All board and staff members understand and follow the program’s conflict of interest policy.
Program has conflict of interest policy, but not all board and staff members understand and follow policy.
Program has no conflict of interest policy.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.1.6 Systematically track information on transactions, owners, borrowers, and homes.
In order to effectively manage affordable units over time, program staff must be able to securely store data and readily access information about prior transactions.
P 1.6a
Maintain an electronic information management system under which program data is complete, secure, and easily accessible.
Program’s electronic information system is secure, has complete data, and is easily accessible.
Program has an electronic information management system, but data is incomplete and/or insecure.
Program has no electronic information management system.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 1.6b
Collect and file home sales and loan closing documents, using a checklist to make sure files are complete.
Program keeps files of sales and loan closing documents, using a file complete checklist.
Program keeps files of sales and loan closings documents, but has no file checklist, or an incomplete checklist.
Program does not keep files of sales and loan closing documents.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.1.7 Determine revenue needs and identify sources to meet those needs
A realistic operating budget will show whether the program may face a gap between income and operating costs. The program will then be able to prepare for budget shortfalls by identifying additional sources of revenue.
P 1.7a
Develop a multi-year (at least 2 year) operating budget.
Program’s multi-year budget includes operating reserves and breaks out time and resources allocated to different staff functions.
Program has a multi-year operating budget.
Program prepares a yearly, but not a multi-year operating budget.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.1.8 Systematically track revenues and expenditures, segregate restricted funds, and conduct periodic audits
Programs with adequate financial management systems are less at risk of violating the requirements of their funders and are more likely to maintain financial support for their programs.
P 1.8a
Maintain a financial management system to track revenues and expenditures.
Program has a financial management system which generates key operational reports.
Program has not yet established a financial management system.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 1.8b
Demonstrate fund segregation in financial statements.
Program segregates funding sources in financial statements.
Program does not segregate funding sources in financial statements.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 1.8c
Conduct financial audits as required by funding sources, or at least every two years.
Program conducts audits at least every two years.
Program does not conduct financial audits.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

Optimal Standards & Practices
OS.1.9 Document or reference market conditions that support the need for services
Market research promotes effective program design, enhances business planning, and informs the program as to whether is continuing to serve real community needs.
OP 1.9a
Hire market research or conduct in-house research into local housing conditions, prices and affordability relative to incomes, and other housing programs that share your target market.
Program periodically updates market research to ensure that it continues to meet community needs.
Program conducted market research at its inception, but does not update research on a periodic basis.
Program has not ever conducted market research.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

OS.1.10 Establish mechanism to solicit client feedback and incorporate feedback into program design
Programs that solicit client feedback gain valuable and important insights into how program policies, design and implementation look and feel to their clients.
OP 1.10a
Establish mechanism to solicit client feedback and incorporate feedback into program design
Program has written policies and procedures for incorporating client feedback into policies and program design.
Program collects client feedback either informally or through a formal mechanism such as an exit survey.
Program does not collect client feedback
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

OS.1.11 Build community awareness and support by actively communicating goals and how services promote goals
Programs that proactively reach out to their community are most effective at reaching their target markets, building political support, and securing local funding.
OP 1.11a
Implement a written community outreach plan that includes online and print communications as well as direct community contact.
Program conducts community outreach and has developed a written community outreach plan.
Program has a written outreach plan, has outreach brochures, and maintains updated online communications systems.
Program does not conduct community outreach.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

OS.1.12 Measure homebuyer activity and program impact
Measuring program outcomes is essential to evaluating the success of a program in meeting its stated goals.
OP 1.12a
Establish systems to measure key program outcomes and communicate them to stakeholders. Key metrics usually include: Number of families assisted, Affordability of homes at resale, Number of new homeowners, Number of resales, Resources invested, Initial affordability levels
Program has systems for measuring outcomes and regularly reporting these outcomes to various audiences.
Program has systems for measuring outcomes, ideally integrated with program’s electronic information system.
Program has no systems to measure key outcomes.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

0 Organization Details
1 Program and Business Planning
2 Affordable Pricing
3 Mortgage Financing
4 Fair Housing and Buyer Selection
5 Resales
6 Support, Monitoring and Enforcement
S 2.1 Identify program parameters and cost assumptions when designing an affordable pricing strategy
Identifying your program’s funding source requirements, target market population, and housing cost assumptions ensures that a home is priced appropriately.
P 2.1a
Maintain a written statement of income and affordability restrictions imposed by funding sources.
Program has statement of income and affordability restrictions which includes requirements of all funding sources.
Program has incomplete or outdated statement of income and affordability restrictions.
Program has no statement of income and affordability restrictions.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 2.1b
Maintain a written statement of program’s target market, which may be lower than that imposed by funding sources.
Program has written statement of target market.
Program has defined target market based on market research, but has no written statement.
Program has not yet defined its target market based on market research.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 2.1c
Clearly state pricing formula assumptions, including details about:
  • Housing affordability ratio
  • Housing costs (taxes, insurance, HOA dues, maintenance costs)
  • Loan product (interest rate, mortgage insurance)
  • Down-payment (as percentage of home price)
  • Target household income
Program has stated all pricing formula assumptions.
Program has some stated assumptions but key factors may be out of date
Program has not yet determined pricing formula assumptions.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.2.2 Avoid Non-Permanent Subsidies
If additional non-permanent subsidies, such as down payment assistance, are necessary to make the home affordable initially, then the home is unlikely to be affordable to future buyers.
P 2.2a
Design a pricing formula that maintains affordability without the program needing to provide additional subsidy to future buyers.
Program’s pricing formula is designed to maintain affordability without providing subsidy to future buyers.
Program’s pricing formula has not been designed to maintain affordability without providing subsidy to future buyers.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.2.3 Set home sales prices below comparable market rate homes
Affordable homes must be priced far enough below market for buyers to make a rational economic choice to purchase the resale restricted home rather than stretching to purchase a market rate home.
P 2.3a
Compare the affordable base price to the price of comparable market rate homes.
Program has compared prices and ensured that the base price of its homes is adequately below the price of comparable market rate homes.
Program hasn't compared base price of its homes to the price of comparable market rate homes.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

Optimal Standards & Practices
OS.2.4 Periodically review and update pricing formula
As market conditions change, programs must review and, if necessary, adjust their pricing formula to ensure ongoing affordability.
OP 2.4a
Periodically review and update pricing formula.
Program has policy of reviewing pricing formula at least every 5 years.
Program occasionally reviews and updates pricing formula.
Program does not periodically review and update pricing formula.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

OS.2.5 Establish A Strategy To Address Homes That Do Not Sell Within A Reasonable Timeframe
If homes do not sell as quickly as anticipated, programs (or homeowners, in the case of re-sales), can incur high holding costs.
OP 2.5a
Maintain a written plan to address homes that do not sell within a reasonable timeframe.
Program has a written backup sales strategy.
Program has an informal backup sales strategy.
Program does not have a backup sales strategy.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

0 Organization Details
1 Program and Business Planning
2 Affordable Pricing
3 Mortgage Financing
4 Fair Housing and Buyer Selection
5 Resales
6 Support, Monitoring and Enforcement
S 3.1 Review And Approve First Mortgage Loans In A Timely And Consistent Manner
Written loan guidelines ensure that borrowers take out loans that fit within the affordable pricing model and are not predatory.
P 3.1a
Establish criteria for acceptable first mortgage loan products, including all of the following components:
  • Loan types allowed and expressly NOT allowed
  • Interest rate, expressed as a percentage or tied to an index
  • Term
  • Front and back end ratio
  • Discount and origination points
  • Loan to Value ratio
  • Credit requirements
Program has established criteria including all of the components listed.
Program has established incomplete criteria for acceptable first mortgage loan products.
Program has not established criteria for acceptable first mortgage loan products.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 3.1b
Maintain written procedures for first mortgage loan review and approval, addressing all of the following components:
  • Required documents from homeowner and lender
  • Authorization for program and lender to share information
  • Response times for applicants to provide required documentation
  • Timeframe for program review
  • Review and approval fees (if any)
  • When exceptions (if any) to program policies will be considered
Program has written procedures including all of the components listed.
Program has incomplete written procedures for first mortgage loan review and approval.
Program has no written procedures for first mortgage loan review and approval.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.3.2 Review And Approve Subordinate Mortgages, Refinance Loans, And Home Equity Loans In A Timely And Consistent Manner
A clear loan review and approval process ensures that buyers don’t borrow more than the restricted price of their home or enter into a predatory loan.
P 3.2a
Establish criteria for acceptable subordinate loans, refinance loans, and home equity loans (if applicable), including all of the following components:
  • Acceptable reasons for Loan request
  • Discount and origination points
  • Term
  • Front and back end ratio
  • interest rate, expressed as a percentage or tied to an index
  • Loan types allowed and expressly NOT allowed
  • Max. cash out (if any)
  • Loan to Value ratio
  • Credit requirements
Program has established criteria including all of the components listed.
Program has established incomplete criteria for acceptable first mortgage loan products.
Program has not established criteria for acceptable first mortgage loan products.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 3.2b
Maintain written procedures for the review and approval of subordinate mortgages, refinance loans, and home equity loans, addressing all of the following components:
  • Required documents from homeowner and lender
  • Authorization for program and lender to share information
  • Response times for applicants to provide Required documentation
  • When exceptions (if any) to program policies will be considered
  • Timeframe for program review
  • review and approval fees (if any)
Program has established written procedures including all of the components listed above.
Program has established informal procedures for review/approval of subordinate, refinance, and home equity loans.
Program has not established any procedures for review/approval of subordinate, refinance, and home equity loans.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.3.3 Ensure Adequate Choice Of Mortgage Lending Products And Approved Mortgage Lending Institutions
Offering buyers a wide choice of lenders and loan products that meet program requirements protects the program from accusations of unfair business practices and allow buyers to obtain a loan that best suits their needs.
P 3.3a
Identify at least two lenders that have mortgage loan products that meet program requirements. In markets where lenders are unwilling to make loans to homes within the program, document good faith efforts to identify and secure participating lenders.
Program has identified at least two lenders that have mortgage products that meet its requirements or has documented good faith efforts to identify and secure participating lenders.
Program has not identified at least two lenders that have mortgage products that meet its requirements.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.3.4 Use Legal Safeguards To Prevent Unauthorized Refinancing Or Ever-Encumbering Property Beyond Affordable Monthly Payments And Affordable Resale Price
Refinance and home equity loan language in deed restrictions or ground leases can strengthen the program’s ability to prevent unauthorized refinancing.
P 3.4a
Include provisions in recorded legal documents (e.g. ground lease, deed of trust, land title, promissory note, regulatory and monitoring agreements, proprietary lease) that require program approval of refinancing or other encumbrances.
Program has included provisions in recorded legal documents.
Program has not included provisions in recorded legal documents.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.3.5 Create Mechanisms To Receive And Respond To Notification Of Nonpayment And Default
Early notification of default allows the program to take a proactive approach toward helping owners cure the default, provide foreclosure counseling and prevention resources, and preserve housing affordability long term.
P 3.5a
In states that allow for recorded requests for copies of notices of default, programs should record a Request for Notice for each unit in the program portfolio. In states that do not allow for recorded Requests for Notice, programs should document procedures for periodically checking with owners, lenders, and HOAs.
Program records a Request for Notice for each unit, or periodically checks in with owners, lenders and HOAs.
Program has no mechanism to receive and respond to notices of nonpayment and default.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 3.5b
Document procedures for responding to notices of default.
Program has written procedures for responding to notices of default.
Program has no written procedures for responding to notices of default.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.3.6 Establish Rights To Safeguard Program’s Investment In The Event Of Default Or Foreclosure
By recording a right to cure default and first right of purchase in the event of foreclosure, programs have the opportunity to preserve the initial investment and the keep the affordable home in the program.
P 3.6a
Include provision in legal documents that the program has the right to cure default on the owner's behalf. 
Program has provision in recorded documents giving it the right to cure default on the owner’s behalf.
Program has no provision in recorded documents giving it the right to cure default on the owner’s behalf.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 3.6b
Include program right of first refusal to purchase in recorded legal documents.
Program has written procedures for responding to right of first refusal notices.
Program has no written procedures for responding to program’s right of first refusal notices.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

Optimal Standards & Practices
OS.3.7 Cultivate And Approve Partner Lending Institutions/Loan Officers
Knowledgeable and supportive lenders are invaluable to successful programs. High performing organizations maintain a written list of approved lenders and regularly reach out to new lenders.
OP 3.7a
Maintain a list of approved lenders who are educated in your program requirements, and regularly cultivate new lenders.
In addition to having a list of approved lenders, program regularly cultivates new lenders.
Program has a list of approved lenders who are educated in its requirements.
Program does not have a list of approved lenders who are educated in its requirements.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

0 Organization Details
1 Program and Business Planning
2 Affordable Pricing
3 Mortgage Financing
4 Fair Housing and Buyer Selection
5 Resales
6 Support, Monitoring and Enforcement
S 4.1 Take Steps To Reach Program’s Target Market And To Affirmatively Implement Fair Housing Policies
Programs that take deliberate steps to reach their target markets and implement Fair Housing policies are more likely to reach underserved populations and meet the needs of the community as a whole.
P 4.1a
Maintain a written marketing plan that includes all of the following components:
  • Target market (income level, geographic region) and efforts to reach Target market
  • Groups least likely to apply and efforts to reach Groups least likely to apply
  • List of commercial media and advertising
  • List of community contacts
  • Description of staff training
  • Description of how marketing performance is evaluated
Program has established criteria including all of the components listed.
Program has a written marketing plan, which includes all of the listed components.
Program does not maintain a written marketing plan.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 4.1b
Include Fair Housing language and Fair Housing logo in marketing materials.
Program includes Fair Housing language and logo in marketing materials.
Program does not include Fair Housing language and logo in marketing materials.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S 4.2 Don’t Limit Program To English Speakers
Programs that offer materials written for non-English speakers increase their pool of buyers and better serve the community as a whole.
P 4.2a
Conduct an analysis of language needs in the community at least every three years.
Program analyzes community language needs at least every three years.
Program has analyzed community language needs, but doesn’t update analysis.
Program has not analyzed language needs in the community.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 4.2b
Maintain a plan for marketing to and working with limited-English speakers.
Program has a plan for marketing to and working with limited-English speakers.
Program does not have a plan for marketing to and working with limited-English speakers.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S 4.3 Require Buyers To Complete General Homebuyer Education Before Purchasing A Home
Homebuyer education helps buyers understand the process and succeed as owners in the long run.
P 4.3a
Require and verify in writing that all buyers complete a general homebuyer education course prior to purchase.
Program requires and verifies in writing that buyers complete a homebuyer education course prior to purchase.
Program does not require that buyers complete a homebuyer education course.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.4.4 Explain Eligibility Criteria, Selection Process, And Program Restrictions Clearly And In Plain Language
Programs can avert political or legal problems and frustration on the part of applicants, buyers, and sellers with a transparent, fair, and consistent buyer selection process. Eligibility criteria must be fully explained to ensure initial and subsequent buyers are eligible to buy available homes and fall within the target market for the program. Clear eligibility criteria and transparent selection processes are also important to ensuring that buyers are aware of all program restrictions.
P 4.4a
In addition to general homebuyer education course, require and verify in writing that all purchasers complete counseling and/or education specific to the particular program as part of the application process.
Program requires and verifies in writing that purchasers complete education specific to their particular program.
Program does not require purchasers to complete education specific to their particular program.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 4.4b
Provide written information to initial and subsequent buyers regarding program restrictions, including all of the following components:
  • Plain language disclosure statement, reviewed and signed by buyers in advance of closing
  • Calculated example of price restrictions or recapture provision
  • Post-closing requirements (e.g. periodic certification, required documentation, and maintenance expectations)
Program provides all of the written disclosures listed to all buyers prior to closing.
Program provides some of the written disclosures listed to all buyers prior to closing.
Program does not provide written disclosures to initial and subsequent buyers regarding program restrictions.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 4.4c
Provide written eligibility criteria to initial and subsequent buyers covering all of the following components:
  • Income calculation
  • Treatment of assets
  • Determination of household size
  • Down payment requirements
  • Credit score requirements
  • Loan qualification requirements
  • Allowable loan types
  • First-time homebuyer requirements
Program provides all buyers all of the written eligibility criteria listed.
Program provides buyers some but not all of the written eligibility criteria listed.
Program does not provide written eligibility criteria to all buyers.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 4.4d
Provide purchasers with written information about the buyer selection process, covering all of the following components:
  • Selection preferences, if any
  • Methods by which applications will be ranked, processed, and approved
  • Lottery procedures (if any)
  • How program determines which home the applicant will purchase
Program provides purchasers with written information covering all aspects of its buyer selection process.
Program provides purchasers with some of the written information about the buyer selection process listed.
Program does not provide purchasers with written information about the buyer selection process.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 4.4e
Provide sellers with written procedures on listing their home and identifying eligible buyers, including a description of anticipated costs.
Program provides sellers with written procedures on listing their home and identifying eligible buyers.
Program does not provide sellers with written procedures on listing their home and identifying eligible buyers.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.4.5 Implement A Review Process So That Applicants Who Were Not Approved Or Are Deemed Ineligible By The Program May Request A Second Review Of The Circumstances Under Which Their Application Was Denied
A review process protects the organization form accusations of bias or unfairness in buyer selection.
P 4.5a
Maintain a written application review process including all of the following components:
  • Who will make final decision (e.g. hearing officer, ED, board, city council)
  • How to file a review request (e.g. upon written request)
  • Timeframe for filing and consideration (e.g. within how many days)
  • Whether applicant will have opportunity to meet with organization or present additional information
  • Whether subsequent reviews are possible
Program has a written application review process with all of the listed components.
Program has a written application review process with some but not all of the listed components.
Program does not have a written application review process.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 4.5b
Notify ineligible applicants in writing and provide a copy of the process for requesting a review.
Program notifies ineligible applicants in writing and provide a copy of the process for requesting a review
Program does not notify ineligible applicants in writing and provide a copy of the process for requesting a review.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.4.6 Consult With Legal Counsel Or A Fair Housing Agency To Ensure Eligibility Criteria And Selection Preferences (if Any) Comply With Fair Housing Laws
A legal or Fair Housing agency review can help programs understand the risks associated with certain types of preferences, and structure a selection process that does not have a discriminatory impact on any protected classes.
P 4.6a
If programs have selection preferences of any kind or eligibility requirements based on residency, consult with an attorney or fair housing agency to understand whether these requirements or preferences might conflict with Fair Housing laws.
Program has consulted with an attorney or Fair Housing agency to understand whether its requirements based on residency (if any) comply with Fair Housing laws.
Program has not ascertained whether its eligibility requirements based on residency (if any) comply with Fair Housing laws.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

0 Organization Details
1 Program and Business Planning
2 Affordable Pricing
3 Mortgage Financing
4 Fair Housing and Buyer Selection
5 Resales
6 Support, Monitoring and Enforcement
S 5.1 Adopt A Resale Formula That Preserves Affordability Under A Wide Range Of Economic Conditions While Also Providing Asset-Building Opportunities For Homeowners
It is important for programs to design resale formulas that balance goals such as long-term affordability, wealth building, ease of use, and funder priorities.
P 5.1a
Use one or a combination of these resale formula models to suit your market conditions:
  • Area Median Income Index Formula
  • Fixed-Index Formula
  • Consumer Price Index Formula
  • Housing Market Index Formula
  • Appraisal-based Formula
Program has customized its resale formula to meet and balance program goals.
Program has adopted a resale formula but not tailored it to suit its market and program.
Program has not yet adopted a resale formula.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S 5.2 Evaluate The Effectiveness Of The Program’s Resale Formula In Preserving Affordability Over Time
Different resale formulas work better in different types of markets, and programs should evaluate and adjust their formula over time to maintain affordability and preserve units in their portfolio.
P 5.2a
Track and evaluate affordability of resales every three years and modify the formula if necessary.
Program tracks and evaluates resale formula every 3 years.
Program has systems for tracking resale formula performance, and evaluates it occasionally.
Program has never evaluated the performance its resale formula.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S 5.3 Strive To Retain Affordable Units In The Program Portfolio And Have Provisions In Place To Recapture The Community Investment If A Unit Is Sold Out Of The Program
Recapturing initial subsidies when homes are sold out of the program allows the program to reinvest the subsidy in additional affordable housing opportunities.
P 5.3a
Include provisions in recorded legal documents (e.g. ground lease, deed of trust, land title, promissory note, regulatory agreement) to prevent loss of affordable units.
Program has provisions in recorded legal documents to prevent loss of affordable units.
Program has no provisions in recorded legal documents to prevent loss of affordable units.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 5.3b
Include provisions in recorded legal documents for public equity recapture if unit is sold out of the program.
Program has subsidy recapture provisions in all relevant recorded legal documents.
Program has no subsidy recapture provisions in recorded legal documents.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.5.4 Have Provisions In Place For Home Maintenance And Repair Requirements Upon Resale
Owners of resale-restricted units may feel they have no incentive to maintain or repair their units if the selling price is based solely on a resale formula that does not take into consideration the condition of the home. Degradation of the affordable housing stock can negatively impact the neighborhood, as well as the political viability of the program. It is in the program’s interest to ensure that homes are in good condition when they transfer to new owners.
P 5.4a
Maintain written resale maintenance and repair criteria, including all of the following components:
  • Acceptable condition of home upon resale
  • Responsibility for making required repairs prior to resale
  • Process for inspecting homes prior to transfer to ensure required repairs are made
Program has written maintenance and repair criteria, enforceable at resale and included in its original legal agreements with homeowner including all components listed.
Program has informal maintenance and repair criteria, negotiated on a “case by case” basis at resales and only some of the components listed.
Program has no provisions for home maintenance or repair upon resale.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 5.4b
Include deductions for damages or needed repairs in the resale formula, if applicable.
Program’s resale formula has deductions for damages or needed repairs.
Program has no deductions for damages or needed repairs in its resale formula.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.5.5 Capital Improvement Credits, If Any, Are Clearly Explained And Defined And Include Measures To Mitigate Impact On Long-Term Affordability
Crediting sellers for capital improvements upon resale may incent homeowners to maintain and improve their units, but programs must balance credits with preserving long-term affordability. To ensure this balance, the program should carefully consider and define which types of improvements will be credited.
P 5.5a
Maintain a written policy regarding capital improvements, including all of the following components:
  • Types of improvements eligible for credit (or a policy that clarifies that capital improvements will not be credited)
  • Approval requirements
  • Documentation requirements
  • Procedure for claiming credit
  • Formula for calculating value of improvement (appraised value, cost depreciated, etc.)
  • Limit or ceiling on credits
Program has adopted a written capital improvements credits policy that includes all of the components listed.
Program offers capital improvement credits without a written policy, or policy only includes some of the components listed.
Program has not yet addressed whether it will offer capital improvements credits to owners.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 5.5b
Maintain a written policy to ensure that the resale price, including credits for capital improvements, remains affordable to the target market.
Program has a written policy to ensure that the resale price, including credits for capital improvements, remains affordable to the target market.
Program does not have a written policy to ensure that the resale price, including credits for capital improvements, remains affordable to the target market.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

Optimal Standards & Practices
OS.5.6 Track And Communicate To Owners The Difference Between Purchase Price And Resale Price
Tracking homeowner equity helps the program determine if it is meeting the dual goals of keeping units affordable while also building wealth for homeowners.
OP 5.6a
Maintain a system that will allow program staff to determine either actual homeowner equity or a close estimate of homeowner equity at any time.
Program has a system for estimating homeowner equity.
Program does not have a system that enables staff to estimate homeowner equity at any time.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

0 Organization Details
1 Program and Business Planning
2 Affordable Pricing
3 Mortgage Financing
4 Fair Housing and Buyer Selection
5 Resales
6 Support, Monitoring and Enforcement
S 6.1 Clearly Identify The Agency That Will Serve As The Primary Point Of Contact For Homeowners Over The Long Term And Will Coordinate Ongoing Monitoring, Support And Enforcement
There are often multiple agencies involved in the development and sale of affordable units, and it is not always clear which one is responsible for post-purchase support and monitoring. With a designated primary point of contact, homeowners know whom to call when they have questions.
P 6.1a
Identify and communicate to homeowners the single public or nonprofit agency to serve as the “primary steward” of the public investment over the long term.
Program has designated a single agency to serve as primary post-purchase contact for owners. Program has communicated this information clearly to owners.
Program has not identified a single agency to serve as “primary steward”, and/or responsibilities of this role are spread over multiple agencies.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S 6.2 Provide Buyers With Clear, Detailed Information On Post-Purchase Policies And Requirements
Owners are expected to comply with a number of post-purchase requirements, some of which may be in recorded documents and others in agreements between the program and homebuyers. Often buyers are unaware of or forget some of these requirements. Having them clearly spelled out in one place makes it easier for buyers to know and understand the requirements, and easier for programs to defend themselves against claims that buyers were not adequately informed.
P 6.2a
Provide a homebuyer program manual, in accord with all legal agreements between the homeowner and program, detailing program policies or requirements. Manual should cover all the following topics:
  • Occupancy and occupancy changes
  • Subletting
  • Required intervention for homeowners delinquent on mortgage (e.g. enter financial counseling, required meeting)
  • Home equity lines of credit or refinancing
  • Maintenance and capital improvements
  • Accessing and using repair funds (if any)
  • Temporary decrease, waiver, or suspension of ground lease fees/program fees (if any)
  • Fees associated with delinquent or partial payments of ground lease fees/program fees (if any)
Program provides purchasers with a manual that includes all of the topics listed.
Program provides purchasers with a manual that includes some, but not all, of the topics listed.
Program does not provide purchasers with a homebuyer program manual.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S 6.3 Regularly Communicate Program Restrictions And Requirements For Maintaining Compliance To Owners
Regular communication to homeowners reinforces pre-purchase education, reminds homeowners of their responsibilities, and ensures the program is taking steps to promote compliance.
P 6.3a
Send annual letter, newsletter, or e-blast to homeowners explaining their responsibilities related to program restrictions and requirements (e.g. occupancy, insurance, capital improvements, repairs, and maintenance).
Program sends homeowners letter or electronic communication about program restrictions and requirements on annual basis.
Program sends homeowners letter or electronic communication about program restrictions and requirements on irregular basis.
Program does not send homeowners annual letter or electronic communication about program restrictions and requirements.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

P 6.3b
Verify evidence of owner occupancy annually.
Program has formal system for requiring evidence of owner occupancy annually.
Program does not verify evidence of owner occupancy annually.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

S.6.4 Monitor Compliance And Respond To Potential Violations
Consistent monitoring and enforcement of program requirements helps preserve affordable homes as long-term assets for future buyers.
P 6.4a
Maintain written monitoring and enforcement plan that includes all of the following components:
  • Identification of method and frequency of monitoring
  • Statement of required homeowner compliance documentation
  • Procedure for following up to those who don't respond initially
  • Identification of potential program violations (non-owner occupancy, unauthorized
  • renting, unauthorized liens, over-encumbrance, unauthorized title transfer, etc.)
  • Identification of conditions that would trigger a site visit
  • Process for responding to violations
  • Statement of possible repercussions for violations
  • Procedures for following up to violations
Program maintains a written monitoring and enforcement plan with all of the listed components.
Program maintains a written monitoring and enforcement plan with some, but not all of the listed components.
Program does not maintain a written monitoring and enforcement plan.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal

OS.6.5 Offer Post-Purchase Support To Homeowners
Post-purchase support gives homeowners, especially first time homeowners, a place go for information and helps ensure their long-term success.
OP 6.5a
Develop a post-purchase support program for homeowners that includes the following components:
  • Homeowner education
  • Financial counseling
  • Home maintenance and repair workshops
  • Loss mitigation
  • Home repair loans, grants, or savings programs
Program offers all of the post-purchase support program components listed, including loss mitigation and home repair loans, grants or savings programs.
Program offers a post-purchase support program that includes homeowner education, financial counseling and maintenance/repair workshops.
Program does not offer post-purchase support to homeowners.
Not
Applicable
Long-Term Goal
Mid-Term Goal
Short-Term Goal
Not a Goal


Thank you for taking the time to complete the Stewardship Standards Self-Assessment. You should receive a link to your overview report via email within one business day.

Please contact Jenee Gaynor at jgaynor@groundedsolutions.org or 503.493.1000 x10 with any questions about this tool or the Stewardship Standards.

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