Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Words matter

by Chris Estes, National Housing Conference

September is finally upon us, which means the beginning of the season of affordable housing forums, conferences and convenings. At NHC we are set for our busiest fall ever!

On Sept. 11 NHC will host a Veterans Housing Convening at the Ronald Regan Center here in DC. This event will focus on rental housing in particular and will feature research presentations from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, League of Cities and NHC’s Center for Housing Policy, best practices in veterans housing communications and a discussion of policy recommendations to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for veterans. As I have noted before you can watch a webcast of the convening if you cannot attend in person. Please visit our website for more information and to register.

NHC is proud to be a sponsor and presenter at the Bipartisan Policy Center 2014 Housing Summit on Sept. 15 and 16. The summit brings together a wide array of housing experts and promises to be an important catalyst for housing policy dialog for the coming year. As Amy Clark notes below, we’re partnering with the BPC to present an invitation-only messaging workshop as part of the summit. Visit the BPC website for more information on the summit and how to register.

NHC focuses on being a resource on values-based messaging and other effective communications strategies. We believe there is a causal relationship between the difficulty the affordable housing community has had in building support for policy and funding solutions and how we talk about the work we do and the people with serve. Sometimes new frames suddenly arise that seem like useful opportunities to build support but may in fact increase negative stereotypes in the long run. One of these examples is the discussion of the separate entrance, or “poor door,” in a New York City development created under that city’s inclusionary housing program. Center for Housing Policy senior research associate Robert Hickey writes about this issue on the NHC Open House blog. Come share your thoughts on the issue as an advocacy opportunity as well as its implications for inclusionary programs across the country.

Another topic dominating the national news is the uprising in Ferguson, Mo., after the police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager. While such situations bring decades of racial and economic discrimination to the forefront, it can be difficult to transform what we know into a path forward for communities like Ferguson. Ethan Handelman writes about the housing policy implications in this month’s Policy Corner. Please read and share your thoughts with Ethan about where this discussion can go.

We look forward to a very busy fall with many events and webinars that will provide real value to your work. We continue to try and make NHC the best resource for the affordable housing community. Be on the lookout for a survey for NHC members on what you need and how we’re doing. 

No comments: