In November 2019, we hosted 120 or so key stakeholders in the housing industry for a deep dive event focused on driving attainability for middle income households – those who make roughly $50K-$125K per year.

In table-based think tanks of six to eight people, we addressed 15 questions related to PLACE, PRODUCT and PRODUCTION (or process) – the three big buckets that need to be tackled to make homes more attainable without sacrificing the quality of our homes and our lives.

Here’s a question from the PLACE segment of our agenda.

What business or partnership models are working best to overcome lot-supply challenges?

We asked 14 thought leaders, including housing developers and regional builders; experts in quality management and lean building, marketing and off-site construction; manufacturers; academics and a technology provider.

Here’s what they had to say:

1: Expand your dating pool.

Look for alternative partnering possibilities. A long-term ground lease is an interesting model that could get at land cost density.

Who would be willing to do a hundred-year lease? Universities, possibly, big hospital systems. A university might get a gift of a house sitting on an acre, where you could add another 15 units. They usually can’t sell it and must keep it in trust. It might be appealing to them to do a hundred-year lease.

2: Feed your relationships.

Have a process to make sure you’re meeting with the different placemakers on a regular basis, rather than taking them for granted or only going to them when you need something. Follow a regimented protocol in working with organizations like surrounding area farmers, the local department of natural resources, the city planning commission, the fire department and commercial developers. Make sure to get the community’s buy-in, too.