Where we came from
Housing Initiative Partnership was birthed one hot, muggy August evening in a church basement in 1988. A small group of people had come together to express their frustration at the lack of affordable housing for the low income clients they worked with. One was a homeless advocate; another worked with the mentally ill; a couple others worked for Legal Aid. They were despairing that there was no movement to make it happen and finally someone said, “Well. Let’s do it ourselves!”
The organization was all volunteer for the first 5 years with people carving out time from their “real” jobs and working on kitchen tables in the evenings. We purchased our first burned out, 4-unit apartment building in Suitland Manor in 1990. After significant renovation including a skylight in the hall, four very low-income families moved in and called Suitland Manor “home”. We had already started several patterns that would continue throughout our history – revitalizing neighborhoods; doing innovative, quality construction; and providing superlative services. In 1998 we added the HIP HOMES program to acquire and rehab single-family houses, and began to do housing counseling. We became increasingly “green” in our approach to development. Often invited to expand our work beyond Prince George’s County, in 2008 we worked as development consultant on two projects in Washington DC and in 2009 we opened a housing counseling office in Germantown and later Gaithersburg in Montgomery County.
In 2013, HIP was selected by the Catalogue for Philanthropy as “one of the best nonprofits” in the Washington DC region and in 2015, was certified by the Standards for Excellence Institute as meeting the highest standards of nonprofit excellence.
HIP has counseled over 15,000 unique clients including over 7,500 families during the foreclosure crisis of 2008-2014. We have developed over 490 affordable rental apartments, often in partnership with private developers, and we have redeveloped over 65 single-family homes for first-time home buyers. In 2015, we assisted over 65 low-income home owners to rehabilitate their homes with a focus on life safety features. HIP provides on-site resident services to 328 renter households in its properties, linking them with community resources and offering activities that help them maintain their housing. Today’s current diverse staff of 15 remains mission focused on “improving the quality of life in the communities we serve”.