Under One Roof | Keeping up with the National Housing Conference and Center for Housing PolicyFEBRUARY 2013

We Are All Stronger Together


Under One Roof

A look at the National Housing Conference, its members and its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, plus news and events from around housing.

Blake Warenik

Cynthia Adcock
Chris Estes
Marice Fernando
Ethan Handelman
Leah Logan
Blake Warenik

To pitch stories, submit
event listings or
share happenings in the housing world, or with questions

email Blake Warenik at:


Organizations In This Issue
Homes for Our Troops
Baltimore Housing
Wells Fargo
NeighborWorks America
Enterprise Community Partners
The Compass Group
Nixon Peabody LLP
New York Housing Conference 
National Housing and Rehabilitation Association
California Housing Consortium

People In This Issue
Kent W. Colton
Gopal Ahluwahlia
Jay Shackford
John L. Kelly
Jeffrey Lubell
Ted S. Chandler
Eileen Fitzgerald
Shekar Narasimhan
Brian K. Tracey
Anne Segrest McCulloch
Paul Norris Weech
David Jeffers
Dan Nissenbaum
Linda Mandolini
Carol Lamberg



NHC and Center Events

41st Annual Housing Person of the Year Gala
June 20, 2013
Washington, D.C.

NHC Annual Policy Symposium
June 21, 2013
Washington, D.C.

Solutions 2013; National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy
Sept. 15-18, 2013
Atlanta, GA




Member & Partner Events

NeighborWorks Training Institute 
February 18-22, 2013 
Atlanta, GA

NAEH, 2013 National Conference on Ending Family & Youth Homelessness
February 21-22, 2013 

Seattle, WA

NAAHL 2013 Washington, DC Summit
February 27-28, 2013

Hay-Adams Hotel
Washington, D.C.

NCHSA 2013 Legislative Conference
March 4-6, 2013

Hyatt Regency
Washington, D.C.

NH&RA Multifamily Developers Conference & Annual Meeting
March 6-9, 2013

Lowes Miami Beach Hotel
Miami, FL

NLIHC 2013 Housing Policy Conference & Lobby Day
March 17-20, 2013

Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C.

ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing Housing Opportunity 2013 Conference
March 20-22, 2013
Grand Hyatt Seattle
Seattle, WA

AHCMC 2013 Annual Conference
May 10, 2013

Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center & Hotel
Bethesda, MD



The Corner Office | Chris Estes



We're all Under One Roof
What I've heard in my first six months at the helm of NHC

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 has a crucial role to play as a convener and thought leader. It’s no longer enough just to convene, we have to show results – what I like to call, “convenings with outcomes”. We have to be able measure our results against the larger policy issues facing housing. Two examples come from our working groups. The Veterans Rental Housing Working Group (which Ethan writes about in this issue) has just begun and is focusing on what policy reforms can be made to improve outcomes for rental housing for veterans. The National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force has been advocating with stakeholders across the country for better federal policy to help struggling homeowners and neighborhoods.  

    If indeed “We Are All Stronger Together” as our mantra states, and I believe we are, then we must find the areas in which there is true common cause. It’s different from just being “under a big tent.” Getting everyone to agree before adding our voice often leads to saying nothing. I continue to believe there are a lot of opportunities for NHC to play a unique role in housing advocacy and we can still find general agreement among a number of folks to have an impact during this critical period of policymaking for housing. This should result in more opportunities for NHC to be heard in the federal housing policy arena as well as providing more leadership in bringing people together around major issue areas.

  • NHC has to provide value at the state and local level where housing innovation is occurring. We are doing this by creating new partnerships and information channels through which we distribute CHP research, best practices and data around key aspects of housing, including vital links to other societal outcomes such as education, health and economic well-being that can impact housing policy and practice on the ground. These convenings and targeted communications can also focus on specific areas like housing for older adults, the linkage between transportation costs and housing affordability and housing for veterans. Through these partnerships we leverage our national expertise with state and local partners advancing their efforts to improve housing policy on the ground and building our reputation as a nonpartisan, evidence-based advocacy organization. 

  • NHC is a growing resource for practitioners and advocates in the critical area of communications about affordable housing. We all know the messaging challenges around the impact/benefits of affordable housing, how to connect community well-being as well as the pitfalls of fear and NIMBYism that arise in the public’s mind when there hear certain words. We have formed a national housing communications network to help us launch a communications hub to offer a repository of the best examples of effective messaging plus toolkits around specific populations and the overall concept of “framing” and how you can change your communications efforts to be more effective and successful. As part of this effort (which we will be rolling out as a pilot in March) we will also be utilizing social media technology to allow folks to more easily interact with one another, ask questions, share examples, etc. about what they are working on.


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. 


People...the housing world's society column

The People section...a perfect place for YOU
Welcome to the housing world's society column

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 bwarenik@nhc.org



NHC welcomes new board members
Changes to Board of Governors, Trustees bring expert guidance

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:

  • Vice Chair Ted S. Chandler

  • Secretary Eileen Fitzgerald

  • Chair of the Audit Committee Shekar Narasimhan

  • Chair of the Finance Committee Brian K. Tracey

  • Chair of Membership and Cultivation Committee Anne Segrest McCulloch

  • Co-Chair of the Policy Committee Paul Norris Weech

  • Chair of the Public Strategies Committee David Jeffers

  • Immediate Past Chair Dan Nissenbaum

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.     



Expert trio offers thoughts on housing's course
NHC Board member Kent Colton, other experts publish new report on "Housing's Lost Decade"

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  

Read more about Housing's Lost Decade, including links to the report and a presentation with charts and data, at NHC's Open House Blog.


NHC Family Room

news from NHC's family of members

NHC members join to grow homeownership in Md.
Baltimore homeownership bolstered by three NHC member organizations in $4.5 million partnership

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 ehandelman@nhc.org



Homes for Our Troops breaks new ground
Nonprofit begins work on modified home for disabled Calif. veteran

by Leah Logan

Homes for Our Troops broke ground on SSG Fanene's new modified home with this shovel.

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.


Briefing Room

news from NHC and the Center

NHC reacts to Obama's focus on housing
Statement from NHC President and CEO Chris Estes on State of the Union's housing highlights

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.

Read more >> 



Save the date!
Dates set for NHC's premier 2013 events

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming NHC events:

  • June 20, 2013 
    41st Annual Housing Person of the Year Gala
    Washington, D.C.

  • June 20, 2013 
    Annual Membership Meeting
    Washington, D.C.

  • June 21, 2013
    NHC Annual Policy Symposium
    Washington, D.C.

  • Sept. 16 - 18, 2013  
    Solutions 2013: National Conference on
    State and Local Housing Policy
    Atlanta, Ga.



Solutions 2013 slated for September
Join your colleagues in Atlanta as we find the Solutions!

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:

  • Foreclosure Recovery. Strategies communities can use for preventing foreclosures, stabilizing neighborhoods with concentrations of foreclosures, and creating a more resilient housing system.   

  • Vital Links - The Connection Between Housing and Other Social Policies. Exploring how stable, affordable housing helps to support other important social outcomes, like health, education, jobs, a strong economy and a healthy environment.

  • Solutions for Inclusive Communities. Covering local and state policies that help ensure that families of all incomes have access to neighborhoods of opportunity. 

  • Housing Communications. Promising communications strategies for expanding awareness of the benefits of affordable housing and building support for affordable housing policies and development.  

Other topics will include: 

  • Meeting the housing and services needs of veterans

  • Meeting the housing and services needs of older adults

  • Effectively linking housing, transportation, and energy policy

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!


Policy Workshop

what we're building

NHC and partners join to serve veterans
New working group focuses on creating new resources to meet veterans' housing needs

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 ehandelman@nhc.org.


Research Lab

developing solutions through research

What's next in housing policy research
The Center offers a sneak peek at upcoming release

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:

  • An update on the current state of inclusionary housing efforts around the country.

  • A suite of materials about lifecycle underwriting. Anchored by a new lifecycle cost calculator tool called L-Cycle developed by the Compass Group, the materials present and discuss the policy implications of a new approach for analyzing the ability of a multifamily affordable rental property to meet expected capital needs over a full 30- to 50-year lifecycle.

  • An analysis of state housing policy from a child-centered lens.

  • Landscape 2013. The latest Landscape report will examine the housing challenges facing working households.

Check back at nhc.org, NHC's Open House Blog and in your email inbox to find out about the latest releases from the Center for Housing Policy.  



Jeffrey Lubell starts blog series for U.S. News & World Report
Center executive director shares housing policy ideas with wider audience in monthly blog feature

by Blake Warenik

Jeffrey LubellJeffrey Lubell

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