We're all Under One Roof
Welcome to the first issue of Under One Roof—a new publication from NHC about our work, a broader look at the many housing policy issues we are engaged on, highlights of some of the best practices of our members across the country and the latest from our research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy (CHP).
In this first issue I want to tell you a little about my first six months at NHC. As I have been working to formulate a strategic direction for NHC, I have undertaken an extensive listening tour of Board members, funders, members and other stakeholders—one that will continue at least for the rest of the year since there are so many folks across the country I need to engage with in addition to those in Washington. Using this information, in October I laid out the feedback as well as a focused strategy for NHC that I can summarize into three areas:
NHC’s legacy events—the Policy Symposium, the Budget Forum and the Gala—will continue to be hugely important for convening the entire sector. But we’re tweaking the model a little, following the success of the 2012 Gala which honored organizations that help veterans find affordable housing. Our theme this year is: “Where We Go From Here: A Path Forward for Housing.” As part of this event we will host an annual meeting prior to the gala to present the previous and upcoming work of NHC and CHP. The next day our Policy Symposium will feature a panel discussion about the key housing issues in front of us with suggestions for where we should be working together to move housing forward. I hope to announce the 2013 honorees in the next issue. So stay tuned.
Be sure to let us know about your news as well so we can feature it in Under One Roof. I look forward to hearing from you.
The People section...a perfect place for YOU
In this inaugural issue of Under One Roof, we'd like to say one word about what we'd like to see here: you. That's right. In order to keep up with the moves, honors, awards and great work of our members, partners and other housing luminaries, we need you to tell us about it. So go ahead: blow your own horn. Or give a colleague or friend a pat on the back. If you want to share a recent activity, report, honor, move or any other news, or if you know someone in the housing world who deserves a little recognition, send a brief tip to our editor, Blake Warenik, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHC's membership elected a new Board of Governors and Board of Trustees at its annual meeting on June 21, 2012. Newly elected members of NHC's Executive Committee include NHC Chair John L. Kelly, a partner with Nixon Peabody LLP in the affordable housing group of the firm's real estate department in New York City. Kelly is a former president of the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association and chair of the New York Housing Conference, NHC's affiliate in New York. Kelly said one of his primary goals for NHC will be to ensure more open communication with the entire Board of Governors and Board of Trustees. Kelly was instrumental in leading the search that culminated with the hiring of NHC President and CEO Chris Estes. Other members of the NHC Executive Committee include:
Rounding out the Executive Committee are regional affiliate representatives Linda Mandolini from the California Housing Consortium and Carol Lamberg of the New York Housing Conference; Center for Housing Policy Chair Kent W. Colton, and Jeffrey Lubell, executive director of the Center, also serve on NHC's Executive Committee.
Click here to see a complete list of all NHC Board of Governors, Board of Trustees and Life Trustees.
by Cynthia Adcock
Kent Colton, Gopal Ahluwahlia and Jay Shackford, three ageless veterans of the housing community with more than a century of experience among them, have authored Housing's Lost Decade: Where We Go From Here, a new report that looks at where the market may head now that the housing recovery is starting to take shape.
"Fixing the housing finance system and generating a stronger and broader-based economic expansion that creates millions of new jobs and lifts household incomes are both critical to accelerating today's less-than-robust housing recovery."
--Housing's Lost Decade: Where We Go From Here
news from NHC's family of members
NHC members join to grow homeownership in Md.
by Blake Warenik
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Jan. 7 a new $4.5 million initiative to build homeownership among low- and moderate-income residents, in a deal partnering NHC members Wells Fargo, Baltimore Housing and NeighborWorks America with Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore.
Through the national CityLIFT program, the initiative will provide $15,000 downpayment assistance grants to Baltimore families that meet income requirements and complete a homebuyer education course. In the past year, NeighborWorks and Wells Fargo have provided more than $27 million in grants to homebuyers through the CityLIFT and NeighborhoodLIFT programs. Tuesday marked the first year of the programs.
Rawlings-Blake also noted that the CityLIFT program supports neighborhood stabilization efforts such as Vacants to Value, a Baltimore Housing initiative utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds to rehab or demolish vacant housing in the city. Read the full story at BaltimoreHousing.org.
NHC, along with members Enterprise Community Partners and NeighborWorks America, started the National Neighborhood Stabilization and Foreclosure Prevention Task Force in 2007, paving the way for vital programs like these. For more information on how NHC members can join this and other issue-specific task forces and working groups, contact VP for Policy and Advocacy Ethan Handelman at email@example.com.
by Leah Logan
NHC member organization Homes for Our Troops began construction of a new, specially adapted home for Army Staff Sergeant Wallace Fanene and his family in Temecula, Calif., in January. SSG Fanene was on his second deployment in Sept. 2007 when he lost his right leg above the knee and his right arm below the elbow in an IED blast in Kirkuk, Iraq.
A national nonprofit organization founded in 2004, Homes for Our Troops is committed to helping returning veterans with serious disabilities and injuries and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor to coordinate the process of building homes that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. Homes for Our Troops begins with the VA's Specially Adapted Housing Grant and raises the extra funds to ensure adapted homes are given at no cost to the veterans they serve.
NHC honored Homes for Our Troops with a "Shining a Light" visual at the 2012 Annual Housing Person of the Year Gala and Policy Symposium. Our work on the veterans housing issue is detailed by Ethan Handelman below in the Policy Workshop section. For more on SSG Fanene's story, plus video, visit his page at HomesforOurTroops.org.
news from NHC and the Center
NHC reacts to Obama's focus on housing
NHC President and CEO Chris Estes has issued a reaction to Tuesday night's State of the Union address from President Obama. Estes outlines the particular housing issues the president covered in his speech—and what was missing from the rhetoric—in our statement. Read it now on the Open House Blog.
Save the date!
Please mark your calendars for these upcoming NHC events:
Mark your calendars to attend Solutions 2013: Conference on State and Local Housing Policy Sept. 16-18, in Atlanta. The conference will bring together more than 500 practitioners, advocates, and state and local policy officials from across the country to share information about how to strengthen housing policy at the local and state levels.
Solutions 2013 will have four major concurrent tracks:
Other topics will include:
Solutions 2013 is designed to be useful to both newcomers and experienced practitioners and policymakers and will offer a comprehensive, highly interactive educational experience. The conference will include opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, mobile workshops, facilitated discussions, panel discussions, networking, and plenary sessions.
Stay tuned for more information!
what we're building
NHC and partners join to serve veterans
by Ethan Handelman
Few issues are as politically unifying as veterans housing. Last year, our Housing Person of the Year Gala and Policy Symposium, themed "Housing America's Heroes," illustrated that clearly. The events also showed how much the housing challenges of veterans—foreclosures, burdensome housing costs, homelessness—mirror the housing challenges of people across America.
NHC recently formed a Veterans Rental Housing Working Group to help address some of these challenges through federal policy. Right now, a small group of practitioners and policy experts is developing some policy proposals to build on the strong existing federal efforts in ways that make it easier to create supportive housing with embedded services, provide a range of rental housing options, and strengthen the interagency partnership between Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs. We plan to share those recommendations soon with NHC members and potential allies.
Our core principle is to generate new federal resources for veterans housing—retargeting scarce existing resources is counterproductive. With a united effort from housing stakeholders and veterans service stakeholders, we can have an impact, even in this difficult budget environment. If you'd like to get involved, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
developing solutions through research
What's next in housing policy research
by Jeffrey Lubell
The Center for Housing Policy is nearing completion of a number of publications and tools expected in the first and second quarters of 2013:
by Blake Warenik
As a complement to his Moving Forward blog targeted to the housing field, Center for Housing Policy Executive Director Jeffrey Lubell has begun a monthly blog assignment for U.S. News & World Report's The Home Front Blog.
In his first piece from December, Lubell focuses on ways to elevate the issue of affordable housing on the national radar. In his January column, he wrote about new federal policies that will more effectively link housing and transportation policies to help expand housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income households in gentrifying areas near public transit stations.
Under One Roof