A Q&A with Geoffrey Marchant, Director of the Community Development Consortium

A Q&A with Geoffrey Marchant, Director of the Community Development Consortium

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How long have you been with the consortium?

“I founded it in March of 1996. I’ve been working with [federal] block grant money since February 1998.” [The Community Development Consortium helps towns apply for Community Development Block Grants and other funding for affordable housing.]

You are retiring in January. What will you do next?

“I plan to move the function to a non-profit if the towns wish. I feel there’s value in having a higher level of expertise available to the towns, because HUD’s all about compliance these days, and if you mess up, you suffer for it. I want to spend a year or so working with the CDC and training them on how to do this stuff, so I will not be going away. I will be retired, but consulting.”

You have consistently advocated for affordable housing. Do you feel as passionate about this issue now?

“I do. It’s becoming increasingly frustrating. Thank God for the state-run program, because it’s the only thing around any more that can handle any kind of expensive development for low-income tax credits, and it’s highly competitive. With CDBG and bond money, you can do smaller projects that still make a difference without mega-developing rural areas.”

Putting together the funding for these projects is so complicated. Do you enjoy it?

“I do like it. It’s a challenge. There’s a satisfaction when you finally get a deal done.”

More about Geoffrey

Birthplace: Cranston

Hometown: Wakefield

Age: 68

Family: Married, two grown children

Education: Cranston East High School; Rhode Island College; Arizona State University; U.S. Navy 1967-1973

Bonus question: Is there anything more you’d like people to know about you?

Bonus answer: “I doubt it.”

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