So I had my first conversation with Nick from Foundation Group and he had me convinced that I should become a public charity instead of an operating foundation.
Advantages to a public charity - Allows anonymous donation, easy payment of program directors (including myself), and some other things I can't remember.
But there were a few troubling things.
First and foremost, 1/3 of all funds must come from small doners (the public). I am not sure it would be easy for me to do this. Initially, I have set aside funds that were left to me by my step-mom to start this project. My own monies will be used to purchase the houses and these will be considered part of the revenue of the project. I am not sure I could make up 1/3 in donations, and I DON'T want to have to beg.
Also there are limitations regarding board members. Although I have members in the community ready to participate, I also would like Ed my fabulous fiancee who is my level-headed support system to sit on the board. In a public charity you cannot have board members who are related.
Anyway, my intuition is telling me to go with the private operating foundation. As I said to Nick, if it doesn't pan out, then it will simply be "back to the drawing board".