Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Once the election is over, it will be time for the housing community to get to work


by Chris Estes, National Housing Conference


Each presidential election year, national groups prepare transition memos outlining their priorities for each candidate. This happens across a wide range of policy areas, but all such memos are designed to educate the next administration, share priorities and recommendations and serve as the basis for future advocacy.

This year NHC chose not to create a transition memo. Many of our member groups will, so we felt that NHC’s best role in the transition is bring the field together around major housing policy issues in a way that could lead to more coalition-building, informed advocacy and linkages between issues and segments of the community development and affordable housing communities.

This is why we think of Solutions for Affordable Housing as our in-person transition memo. It differs from a transition memo, however, in that its audience is the field itself. We want to bring folks together around key issues, feature work at the state and local levels and have robust discussions that can lead to successful policy efforts at all levels of government. Because much of this work is informed by the intersection of housing and other issues like health, education and economic opportunity, we are excited to offer  our How Housing Matters conference and Solutions for Affordable Housing convening back-to-back on December 13 and 14 here in Washington.

While the outcomes of the presidential and congressional election seem murkier than ever, we do know that the campaigns—and the campaign ads—will be over in a week. Then the real work of understanding the dynamics of the election and what it meant for housing and community development issues will begin.

To help us launch this work, we have enlisted a tremendous set of experts for the luncheon plenary at Solutions. I am excited to moderate this discussion featuring David Gasson of Boston Capital, Christopher Ptomey of Habitat for Humanity, Cy Richardson of the National Urban League and Nan Roman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. You will not want to miss this discussion about the election and what it means for your work.

Last week we noted that housing finance reform remains a key policy issue for NHC and highlighted the outstanding closing plenary we’ve planned for Solutions for Affordable Housing on this issue. This week we were pleased to see a white paper from two Treasury officials on the same topic, with a focus on affordability we have not seen from previous administration documents. 

No matter what happens on Nov. 8, I look forward to working with all of our members and across party lines to ensure housing and community development remain as vital to the national policy conversation as they are to the lives of our communities. 

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