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NHC’s Annual Gala honors two of housing’s greats in organization’s 80th year

Hundreds of affordable housing leaders and supporters will gather at Washington, D.C.’s National Building Museum to honor Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM, and Professor Nicolas P. Retsinas as the National Housing Conference’s Housing Persons of the Year and to mark NHC’s 80th year. Each year, NHC recognizes those who have worked tirelessly towards the goal of providing safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America.

Sister Lillian’s early work with the Sister of Mercy began in 1959, meeting health and education needs in her community. When the sisters made the connection between housing, health and education, starting Mercy Housing in 1981, Sister Lillian was not far behind. Since her appointment as CEO of Mercy Housing in 1987, she has dedicated herself to responding to the “absolutely critical” needs for affordable housing and residential services for low- and moderate-income residents. Under her leadership, the organization has grown from a regional charity into an award-winning, national nonprofit with a presence in 220 cities, 41 states and the District of Columbia, serving more than 135,000 people in nearly 40,000 affordable homes..

While Sister Lillian manifests her passion for community development and housing to solve America’s housing problems in practice, Professor Retsinas’ influential books and articles are a foundation of the policy and research principles that help organizations like Mercy Housing thrive. Nic is currently Senior Lecturer in Real Estate at the Harvard Business School, following a position as director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has been a fixture in housing policy since long before he joined the Harvard faculty. At the state level, he served as executive director of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation. In the 90s, he served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner at the HUD and as Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision.

NHC is proud to honor the work of Nic and Sister Lillian, and we look forward to hearing those closest to them share their own expressions of gratitude at this year’s Gala.

The National Building Museum, this year’s Gala venue, is located at 401 F Street N.W., Washington, D.C . The Gala begins at 5:30 p.m. Gala tickets are available here online and at the door. Those interested in attending can also contact Frances Robinson at (202) 466-2121, Ext. 246 or

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