At our 41st Annual Housing Person of the Year Gala last week, NHC President & CEO Chris Estes noted during the presentation of the Carl A.S. Coan, Sr. Award for Public Service to Affordable Housing that it is because of the work of people like Carl Coan, Sr. and Carl Coan, Jr. that housing advocates today have the luxury of considering the path forward for housing. When the federal government began creating housing policy in earnest in the mid-1930s, “housing’s path forward” was to ensure every American had the most basic of needs met: indoor plumbing, electricity, complete shelter from the elements. While the challenges faced by the housing community today can be more complex than those met by our predecessors, the central purpose remains the same: to ensure that every American family has the safe, decent, affordable home they need.
Through the hard work of advocates and practitioners across the country, many states and local communities have developed housing policies and programs that augment federal resources and meet local needs in targeted and innovative ways. Now, housing’s path forward means localities and states working collaboratively to address residents’ housing challenges and develop inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities.
Supporting these efforts and helping build capacity at the state level is an important part of our mission as an evidence-based advocacy and resource organization. That’s why Solutions 2013, the NHC and Center National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy, will focus on giving practitioners, advocates, policymakers and program administrators the best available information on key issues in state and local housing policy and advocacy.
Paving the path forward for housing in our communities will require programs that help neighborhoods and families heal from foreclosure, policies that expand affordable housing in desirable neighborhoods, an understanding of the impact of good affordable housing policy on important social outcomes, and communications strategies that help advocates expand recognition of the benefits of affordable housing. Our conference tracks, as well as our special focus on veterans and older adults, will showcase innovative strategies that advocates and practitioners can take home straight from Solutions 2013 and use in their communities.
Solutions 2013 is September 16-18 in Atlanta. Visit our website to learn more and register. We can’t wait for you to join us as we navigate the path forward for housing together.