CEI plays a critical role in educating, developing skills, and strengthening the capacity of the nonprofit affordable housing development and advocacy community. We take seriously our multiple training roles with clients, via conferences and workshops, and assisting programs that bring new diverse staff into the field.

Individualized consulting

CEI’s approach to technical assistance involves focused interaction with clients’ project management staff so that they gain a deeper understanding of financial aspects of development. CEI provides support for a range of skill levels, from the basics of affordable housing finance to the complex structuring of tax credits.  Although CEI’s principal role is to structure the financial projections for analysis by investors and tax attorneys, CEI strives for project management staff to have a basic understanding of those projections and the underlying issues. This makes for better projects and stronger nonprofit housing developer staff.

In addition to the ongoing one-on-one relationships with staff on specific projects, CEI offers periodic trainings for clients’ staff members, to assist less experienced staff with understanding housing finance, and to delve deeper into the CEI financial projections, underlying tax issues, and project-specific or general affordable housing finance issues.

Workshops and conferences

CEI is a frequent participant or moderator of workshop panels at conferences sponsored by Housing California, NPH, and CCRH. These sessions cover topics directly relevant to our expertise in finance as well as policy issues critical to the broader affordable housing field.

A sampling of recent conference workshops include:  

  • • Starting Up Your Hybrid: Combining 4% & 9% Tax Credit Projects
  • • Understanding the O-Zone: Potential Opportunity Zone Benefits & Threats
  • • Challenging our Tax and Financial Regulatory Systems to Advance Racial Justice
  • • Immigrants Welcome Home: Know Your Rights, Protect your Tenants
  • • 40 Years is Enough: Time to Reform Proposition 13
  • • Opportunity Knocking: Exploring how place matters in affordable housing
  • • Creating Successful Homes for Veterans with VHHP and VASH
  • • Who’s Sharing in the “Sharing Economy”? Strategizing to Combat Airbnb’s Impact on Housing Affordability
  • • Investor workshop — The Lighter Side of Tax Credit Equity
  • • The Investor Multiverse: Navigating the Shifting Worlds of Tax Credits
  • • Developing for Greenhouse Gas Reductions: Understanding GHG Modeling for Your AHSC Project
  • • A Primer for “Teacher Housing”: Lessons Learned

Training the next generation

CEI is proud to support California Coalition for Rural Housing’s Internship Program for Diversity in Nonprofit Housing and Community Development. Operating for more than 20 years, this program has brought undergraduate students from rural, low income, farmworker and communities of color into an internship program to learn professional housing development skills. More than 200 students have graduated from the program with more than half staying in the field and bringing diverse perspectives into our movement. CEI has provided training in financial analysis for the interns as part of a comprehensive training program.

Building on the success of the CCRH program, CEI spearheaded the creation in 2018 of a similar program in the Bay Area operated by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH). Bay Area Housing Internship Program (BAHIP) provides opportunities for Bay Area college students to gain project management skills at local nonprofit development organizations, and in its early years has been successful at leading to permanent jobs when the internship ends. CEI provides training in affordable housing finance throughout the internship year, as well as participating in the mentorship component, and serving on the advisory committee.