The purpose of conducting a housing assessment is to help local communities identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and priorities before allocating resources to implement strategies or solutions that will address those priorities. This assessment should be able to be completed locally. Depending upon local capacity, some communities might decide to hire a facilitator to assist, but locals should drive the process, not the facilitator. It is anticipated that communities conducting a housing assessment will use what is learned to determine goals to resolve housing issues. The community should keep in mind that this assessment is an evolving process that is subject to change depending on community issues and perspectives. Timeliness, while important, should not be the primary factor for the community completing the assessment.
“Strengths” refer to an area or aspect of a community that is advantageous. “Weaknesses” refer to an area or aspect of a community that may or may not need improvement based on community perspectives and/or limited resources. “Opportunities” refer to a favorable combination of circumstances that possibly will lead to an improvement after a specific action is taken. “Priorities” refer to what areas or issues a community is seeking to address first, given community preferences and/or limited local resources. “Strategy/Solution” refers to the action steps taken to address a community priority to take advantage of an opportunity.