Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lessons learned in Seattle and beyond

by Chris Estes, National Housing Conference


Last week we had the pleasure of holding Solutions for Housing Communications: Building Acceptance for Affordable Housing in Seattle in partnership with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County. We were pleased to host big contingents from Washington state and California, in addition to attendees from 13 other states and a diverse range of professionals like developers, local and state government officials, service providers, communicators and advocates.

Special thanks to NHC board of governors members Janis Smith, Steve PonTell and Linda Mandolini for speaking at the convening. Our gratitude also goes to Washington State Housing Finance Agency Director Kim Herman and Diane Sugimura, Director of the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, who participated in our Wednesday luncheon plenary. We also extend a big thank you to Nicole Macri and her colleagues at DESC in Seattle who led a mobile workshop highlighting DESC’s work to build acceptance for supportive housing in three Seattle neighborhoods.

We’ve already begun planning for another Solutions for Housing Communications convening next spring, likely on the East Coast. For more information on the content and take-aways from last week’s event, see Amy’s article in Briefing Room.

The Washington Wire has several important updates on the budget process, NHC’s advocacy on tax reform and for the Housing Credit, updates from our Connectivity Working Group and other important notices.

One of the interesting aspects of the National Housing Trust Fund is how it will be utilized by states to produce more housing to serve households at 30 percent of area median income (AMI) and below. A new report by the Technical Assistance Collaborative looks at how three states, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Illinois, have worked to create these targeted, difficult-to-develop units for a population with the greatest housing needs. These innovations at the state level will be important for others to model. It will also be vital to engage HUD on ensuring that federal funding sources can work with these effective state efforts. 

NHC is honoring two examples of high-impact local collaborations at our 43rd Annual Gala. Now is the time to secure your table, buy tribute ads and get your sponsorship in for this terrific gathering of the affordable housing community. Come help us celebrate our two honorees, the Community Properties Initiative in Columbus, Ohio and the Piece By Piece Initiative in Atlanta, Ga. You can read more about our honorees as well as purchase your tickets or become a sponsor on our website.

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