Housing Tools Mission

Housing Tools’ mission is to make communities more vibrant and equitable. We do this by helping government agencies, nonprofits and businesses build affordable housing and community facilities, and develop and implement community plans.

About Housing Tools

Who is Housing Tools?

The firm has two areas of expertise— Community Development and Housing Development. In Community Development, the firm assists government agencies with planning, implementing, and evaluating programs. In Housing Development, the firm provides project management services to housing developers.

Our Values

At the heart of our work is a belief that communities should be vibrant and equitable. Vibrant communities offer hope and opportunity to their members, to provide for oneself and family, to live in a safe and healthy home and neighborhood, to open doors for progress in personal development, education, and career. Equitable communities offer access to housing and jobs for all community members, regardless of economic class, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability. These values motivate our team members to collaborate in a constructive way, move initiatives forward, and deliver the highest quality services possible. Whether it is conducting inclusive outreach for planning efforts, coordinating the delivery of homeless services, or funding the development of affordable housing, these values drive each one of us on a personal level.

Housing Tools History

James Robert Coles

James Coles founded Housing Tools in July 2012 in order to provide customized, hands-on services to Northern California communities and nonprofit organizations. James saw the increasingly important role of affordable housing in California, and the need to bring more housing developers and government agencies together to produce this important asset for communities. By drawing upon his experience as a housing developer and a public servant, James began providing services that are founded on proven strategies to produce achievable results. As Housing Tools has grown from one independent consultant to a staff of eight, we have maintained our foundational approach of offering practical services that are tailored to each community’s unique strengths and needs.

Our Approach

Our approach is to provide value to the important work that you do. This is best accomplished by adhering to the following core work ethics.

  • Efficient – A single point of contact and a lean staff mean low overhead and cost efficiency for clients.
  • Timely – We keep up to date on the latest market trends, government policies, and funding opportunities, so you can stay a step ahead of what’s next.
  • Practical – We apply real-world experience using proven methods that produce results.
  • Responsive – Not only do we incorporate your vision, goals and timeline into our scope of work, we seek to understand the context that impacts them.

Let us help you with your next project.