Tuesday, March 4, 2014

More than a number

Making strides in housing advocacy
 by improving how we communicate

by Chris Estes, National Housing Conference 



March is here but spring is not! DC is currently blanketed by eight inches of snow, bringing the city to a picturesque halt. We at NHC wont be slowing down though, as we have big events planned throughout the spring.

Coming up on March 21 is NHCs Annual Budget Forum at the Capitol Visitor Center Main Auditorium. Something NHC has been doing for decades, the Budget Forum is an important opportunity to educate Hill staffers on housing programs, the people they serve and what the Presidents budget means for them.

While there are many resources that can tell you what’s in the budget, this event seeks to make these numbers real for Congressional staff and other officials. In recent years, Ethan and Liza have put together a great panel of experts from across the continuum of housing to talk about what the housing budget recommendations mean from the local, city and state perspectives.

We’ll also use this forum to present the Center for Housing Policys report, Housing Landscape. Each year the Center presents this analysis of national housing need, detailing income and housing costs for both homeowners and renters in each state. This year, lead author Janet Viveiros provides interesting information on the changes in income and the percentage of cost burdened households. Janet and the Center staff worked hard to make this edition of the report more useful to you in your work educating the public and policymakers about the housing challenges in your community. 

Traditionally, many area housing organizations and companies attend as do a number of HUD staff. This has made it both an opportunity to discuss how to talk about these programs and data, and an opportunity to network.

If you are outside of the DC area and cannot attend the Budget Forum in person, we would like to gauge your interest in a webcast of the forum that would allow you to watch it live and ask questions of the panelists. If you would like to have this option to participate, please let us know.

Hopefully by March 21 the snow will be long gone in DC and we will be seeing the first signs of spring and the blooming of the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. No matter what, we’ll still be fully engaged in being the best resource for the affordable housing community.



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