Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What we did on our summer vacation

by Chris Estes, National Housing Conference

It is hard to believe that we’ve already come to the end of summer. August was a busy month of writing, planning and creating for NHC.  The fruits of this work can be seen today and over the next three months.

Today marks the official launch of our new website. As a national organization that serves as a resource for our members, we know how important it is to have a content-rich, user-friendly interface as well as constant updates on new resources and opportunities. The new site fully integrates NHC’s research, communications and policy work and makes it much easier to find our events, webinars and convenings. Amy has much more detail in Briefing Room below on the website and the changes you can see. There will be even more changes in 2016 as we continue to build on this important step forward. This was a significant amount of work, and I want to recognize communications intern Sarah Bond-Yancey, marketing and communications associate Radiah Shabazz and director of marketing and communications Amy Clark for this achievement.

On the research side, our Center for Housing Policy will produce a number of important resources for you this fall. In September we will release “Paycheck to Paycheck 2015,” a report that looks at wages of 81 occupations in 209 metro areas and compares them to regional housing costs. This year’s report will have a special focus on millennials, the types of jobs they hold and the wages they earn. As always, Paycheck will feature a  searchable online database for your education and advocacy efforts. Thanks in advance to senior research associate Janet Viveiros and research associate Mindy Ault for their work on this important resource.

Also in September we will release our new Inclusive Communities Toolkit. This online resource will allow users to search through different strategies localities have used to increase the supply of affordable housing in high-cost, high-demand areas. These include examples from both large urban areas as well as smaller communities. This portal was produced by research intern Emma Tinsley and senior research associate Robert Hickey, who has produced several reports on inclusionary housing best practices.

In October the Center will release a report examining promising practices in providing broadband access to the residents of subsidized affordable communities. This report will be another important resource to those working on this issue and will become a valuable education tool for the ongoing policy efforts of NHC’s Connectivity Working Group.

Our major event of the fall, Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods, will occur November 5-6 in New Orleans. This day and a half-long convening will include a mobile workshop featuring some of the inspiring, cutting-edge redevelopment work happening in that city. We’ll also host workshops on topics like public safety and community development, fair housing, housing and health care collaboration, neighborhood stabilization, property and asset management strategies and more. We will also offer roundtable sessions for participant-led discussion of key issues.

This is a unique national conference with a regional flavor that promises to offer a look at the entire spectrum of affordable housing and community development. Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods will feature some of the best work happening in New Orleans as well as speakers from across the country. This is a great opportunity to attend a national conference that caters to developers, local governments, lenders, syndicators, service providers and program administrators. Register for the convening and secure your hotel room today!

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