by Blake Warenik, National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy
North Carolina Housing Coalition honored National Housing Conference President and CEO Chris Estes in Raleigh today with the Bill Rowe Service to Affordable Housing Award in recognition of his career achievements in affordable housing, chiefly building the Coalition into to one of the most effective state affordable housing groups in the nation in his nine years as executive director. Estes left the Coalition in July when he joined NHC.
The honor made for a poignant parting gift for Estes, who promised to continue his work advocating for safe, decent, affordable housing for all in Washington while never forgetting his time in North Carolina nor what can be accomplished at the state level. Staff and speakers recounted how Estes grew the organization from a two-person staff with a budget in the low six-figures into a state advocacy powerhouse with a staff of nearly 20.
2012 N.C. Affordable Housing Conference, a joint annual meeting of affordable housing stakeholders in the state, co-hosted with the N.C. Housing Finance Agency and the Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas. Estes also joined a Friday morning panel on the state of industry and politics in North Carolina alongside NCHFA Executive Director Bob Kucab and Public Policy Polling Director Tom Jensen. N.C. Housing Coalition will post resources from the conference soon, including resources from grassroots advocacy training and messaging sessions that will be of use to state and local housing advocates.