Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Through partnership and innovation, NHC broadens perspectives

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference


This year NHC is celebrating 85 years of moving housing forward. To mark the occasion, we’re sharing some of our greatest memories and biggest successes, from the perspectives of those who help us to do what we do—our members.

As NHC celebrates 85 years of moving housing forward, our members are also taking a walk down memory lane in remembrance of how they first became involved with NHC and how that relationship has evolved over the years. Brian Tracey currently serves on NHC’s Board of Governors as chair of the audit committee. He’s been involved with NHC for 15 years, a relationship that stems from his attendance at the Annual Gala, sponsored by Bank of America that year.

“At that time, NHC, through Conrad Egan, was working with the Millennial Housing Commission and I participated in an event discussing the work of the commission,” Brian said of his first encounters with NHC.

NHC has maintained a unique space in the affordable housing movement, providing organizations with practical tools and resources for advancing affordable housing efforts in communities nationwide.  For example, NHC was instrumental in introducing Bank of America to HUD’s RAD initiative and then, four years later, working with HUD to facilitate meetings with lenders and investors. This work resulted in Bank of America closing more than $750 million in financing for RAD projects during 2015. For example, in San Francisco—one of the nation’s most expensive metro areas-- alone, RAD financing from Bank of America will help to rehabilitate more than 1,400 affordable apartments.

Brian credits his work and involvement with NHC with helping him to obtain a broader perspective on various affordable housing issues. “At Bank of America, the group I manage provides debt and equity financing to developers of affordable housing.  While the work of our clients – both for-profit and not-for-profit developers – is critical in solving the crisis of affordable housing, the different viewpoints of NHC’s members are equally important to our institution’s understanding of this issue.  That’s part of the value NHC provides to Bank of America,” he said.

He acknowledges that NHC’s effective combination of research and policy and its practical application, coupled with willingness and a desire to be open to all points of view is what has contributed to NHC’s longevity. 

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