North Coast Community Homes
Ohio residents with development disabilities find safe, comfortable, affordable housing because of the careful work of North Coast Community Homes.
NCCH’s Innovations Save Money, Improve Service, and Enhance Safety
Founded in 1984, North Coast Community Homes (NCCH) is one of Ohio’s largest providers of affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities. NCCH owns or manages 207 properties throughout five counties, serving 935 tenants. “Our goal is to provide a safe, comfortable, affordable home,” says President and CEO Stephen McPeake.
Given the fact that the tenants typically have limited incomes, it is important for NCCH to pursue efficiency to keep costs down. Two recent innovations with their property maintenance teams have done just that. First, NCCH installed GPS monitors in each of the vehicles used by their maintenance staff. This allowed them to track the overall mileage and frequency of trips to the home repairs supply stores. Armed with this data, administrators could work with the maintenance employees to help them better plan their daily work, cutting down on travel times. Second, NCCH went paperless in its work order system. Today the maintenance staff are issued electronic tablets. Instead of staff having to log in requests on paper, and maintenance staff filling out more paperwork at the conclusion of a job, all the information is transmitted and stored electronically. “We get some 3500 work orders each year,” McPeake says. “So getting more efficient with those is important.”
But NCCH is as concerned with safety as it is with affordability—and has demonstrated that by making investments that go beyond the government’s requirements. “We deal with a vulnerable population and fire safety is a big concern,” McPeake explains. “There’s nothing worse in this business than a fire that would lead to someone’s being injured.” To enhance protection against fire, NCCH now installs sprinkler systems in all newly developed homes. “This is not required by code,” McPeake reports, “but we think it’s important.” Noting that between 70 and 80 percent of home fires begin in the kitchen, NCCH also decided to install range hood fire suppression systems in all 220 of its existing units. “It was a $300,000 investment, but the last thing you want is to have a fire and someone gets hurt.”