Community Economics was established in 1976 to provide technical expertise in the emerging field of nonprofit affordable housing development and community based economic development. As federal housing resources have decreased, the nonprofit sector has become a major producer of affordable rental housing. Through direct technical assistance to nonprofit developers, and through involvement with local, state, and national housing policy issues, CEI has been at the forefront of the affordable housing movement, developing creative solutions and resources to meet the housing needs of low income households.
CEI staff work with clients from the earliest conceptual stages of development helping to assemble a site, the development team, and secure funding through the successful completion of construction and commencement of operations. Through this project-specific technical assistance and through long-term relationships with clients, CEI strives to enhance the capacity of nonprofit housing developers.
CEI's primary expertise is in the financing of affordable rental housing, working with a broad assortment of federal, state and local funding programs as well as conventional lenders. Since 1987, CEI has developed a particular expertise in the use of the federal and California state low-income housing tax credit programs, and has facilitated the development of thousands of affordable rental housing units using those programs.
Our primary clients are nonprofit housing development organizations and social service agencies providing housing for their special needs clients. CEI has also worked with tenant organizations and groups forming limited equity cooperatives. Public agencies frequently hire CEI to assist them in evaluating housing proposals from private developers or in devising housing priorities and programs.
CEI staff members consistently take on active leadership roles in housing policy organizations. Alice Talcott previously served on the Board of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH). Kevin Knudtson is currently a board member of NPH and the California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH). Joel Rubenzahl was previously a board member of Housing California. Elissa Dennis has served as President of East Bay Housing Organizations and is currently on the Board of Housing California.