Taffy Adler, CEO of the Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC), a private, not-for-profit “social housing institution” in South Africa, pondered the history and trajectory of his organization as he trudged through the snow in New Haven, Connecticut. Attending a conference co-sponsored by the Development Finance Forum and the Yale School of Management in December 2007, he was slightly bemused by the notion that international delegates would consider JHC a financial services organization and, specifically, “a development finance institution.”
JHC is certainly a developer, owner and manager of quality, affordable rental housing in the inner city of Johannesburg. It also offers a range of community development and social services to its tenants and into adjacent neighborhoods of the city. JHC’s housing portfolio had been through spurts of growth followed by periods of consolidation over the decade since its establishment in 1995; 2008 boded well as a time of new growth for JHC.