Sidney Blanchard of Community Access Unlimited

Sidney Blanchard had spent more than a decade in social service by the late 1980s, first as a state employee and then as the head of a nonprofit known as Community Access Unlimited.

But that was when he realized that the support he offered to adults with developmental disabilities and children in the welfare system wasn’t going far enough. At the time, the savings and loan crisis was beginning to take hold nationwide, he said, and he saw much of the affordable housing in the region become the target of flipping, rent hikes by new landlords and social problems.