Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wanted: A Unified Message in Support of Affordable Housing

The housing and financial crisis in the U.S. has forever changed Americans view of affordable housing and the housing industry. With foreclosure rates at a record high and the threat of double-dip recession looming, the future of the housing industry has never before been more unstable and uncertain. And the affordable housing industry finds itself in an especially precarious situation, with some unfairly blaming the victims of the crisis.

Against this backdrop, the National Housing Conference today launches its’ new communications initiative– the Housing Communications Network (the Network). The network of housing policymakers and communications professionals is designed to promote affordable housing as a positive force in American communities and raise it to a first-tier issue on the national agenda. A change in the way we talk about housing is sorely needed given the recent changes to the housing market and the fractured nature of affordable housing advocacy. Through the Network, NHC hopes to start a dialogue that will lead to a more unified message in support of affordable housing. And that support means support among ordinary Americans as well as policymakers.

The launch of the Network in Washington, DC today includes a series of events, including a stimulating panel discussion among communications experts John Buckley, Managing Director of the Harbour Group, Tony Fratto, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary in the George W. Bush Administration, and Jody Shenn, Mortgage and Housing Reporter for Bloomberg News. Panel moderator Erika Poethig, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will lead the discussion on the communications challenges facing housing today.

The panel follows the first convening of the NHC Housing Communications Network Working Group of housing communications professionals and culminates with a rooftop networking reception. The launch events will be attended by more than 100 housing industry leaders, advocates and policymakers.

Check back throughout the day for updates, pictures and tweets from the event!

 Image, via iyssportsmouth.info/housing

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