The National Low Income Housing Coalition Commemorates 40 Years of Advocacy

Louis Dolbeare and Sheila Crowley, NLiHC President and CEO

Louis Dolbeare and Sheila Crowley, NLIHC President and CEO

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) concluded a year-long commemoration of 40 years of endeavoring to expand and preserve housing for people with extremely low incomes with a reception on November 17, 40 Years: Looking Back…Moving Forward.  NLIHC held the reception at the historic Eastern Market in Washington DC, the stomping ground of NLIHC founder Cushing Niles Dolbeare.  Attended by about 300 current and former NLIHC leaders, staff, partners, and friends, the reception featured a poignant moment when Cushing’s 98-year-old widower, Louis Dolbeare, spoke to the crowd by video and in person about the founding years of the Coalition.  See Louis Dolbeare’s video here: http://nlihc.org/40years/video

During the celebration, NLIHC announced the formation of a new Leadership Council of former board chairs, executive directors, and founding members.  The Leadership Council is NLIHC’s way of honoring the legacy of the Coalition and its talented, trail-blazing leaders over the years, as well as continuing to benefit from their wisdom and guidance.

Brenda Clement, Chair of the NLIHC Board of Directors, served as host for the festivities, introducing past board chairs and current CEO, Sheila Crowley. Ms. Crowley reminisced about her mentor and friend, Cushing Dolbeare, who is known nationally as a brilliant pioneer and conscience of the affordable housing movement.  Split this Rock, a youth spoken-word troupe capped off the evening with a stirring performance that celebrated NLIHC’s past 40 years and dreamed of the day when affordable housing is available to all of the poorest in America.  Local artist Kent Willis commemorated NLIHC’s 40th Anniversary with a poster honoring NLIHC’s past while looking towards the future.  The evening also provided an opportunity for attendees to be part of the Coalition’s legacy by contributing to the Cushing Niles Dolbeare Endowment Fund.  Click here to donate: http://nlihc.org/donate

Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to connect with former board, staff, and members, as well as with many Coalition friends and partners, as they fondly remembered the road that brought us here, newly inspired to continue the effort to ensure that people with the lowest incomes have affordable and decent homes.

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National Low Income Housing Coalition Hosts Research Briefing on The Alignment Project: Achieving Deep Affordability in an Age of Fewer Vouchers

The National Low Income Housing Coalition held a research briefing today previewing its soon to be released report, The Alignment Project: Achieving Deep Affordability in an Age of Fewer Vouchers.  This report examines how we can better match existing federal housing resources with the existing  need and how some developers are achieving deep affordability without relying on vouchers. With the potential of revenue for the National Housing Trust Fund coming soon, it is important to share data and case studies as to how developers are layering multiple funding sources, reducing mortgage debt, cultivating strong partnerships and employing cross-subsidization strategies to serve extremely low income households.

The briefing opened with NLIHC President/CEO, Sheila Crowley laying the foundation for this important work.  Next, Megan Bolton, NLIHC Research Director and Ann O’Hara, the Technical Assistance Collaborative’s (TAC) Co-Founder and Senior Policy Advisor shared the survey data, case studies, and practical implications.  The briefing closed with a very lively question and answer period.

Stay tuned for the release of the full report.  This project was made possible due to the generous funding of Capital One Bank, Freddie Mac Foundation and TAC.

NLIHC Research Director, Megan Bolton. NLIHC President/CEO Sheila Crowley and TAC Co-Founder and Senior Policy Advisor Ann O'Hara

NLIHC Research Director, Megan Bolton. NLIHC President/CEO Sheila Crowley and TAC Co-Founder and Senior Policy Advisor Ann O’Hara.

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NLIHC Congratulates Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM on her retirement from Mercy Housing

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) would like to congratulate Sister Lillian, RSM on her retirement from Mercy Housing.  After many years of a ministry in health care, Sister Lillian’s community, the Sisters of Mercy, called on her to head their new venture into affordable housing.   Since 1987 Sister Lillian has served as Mercy Housing’s  Chief Executive Officer, leading it from its first senior housing project in San Francisco to the award winning not-for-profit organization with a presence in more than 200 cities in 41 states and DC that it is today. Sister Lillian has received numerous awards and acknowledgements for her  work, including the 25th Annual Housing Leadership Award from NLIHC in 2006.

Sister Lillian has always been a great supporter of NLIHC’s work and a strong believer in our mission.  Sister Lillian has encouraged NLIHC’s work on the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign since day one, calling the National Housing Trust Fund the “game changer” for affordable rental  rental housing finance.  Sister Lillian plans to take a year “off” before she embarks on her next mission. NLIHC wishes her health and happiness and says  “…well done, good and faithful servant,” Matthew 25:21

Sister Lillian Murphy , CEO Mercy Housing and Sheila Crowly, President and  CEO, NLIHC

Sister Lillian Murphy , CEO Mercy Housing and Sheila Crowley, President and CEO, NLIHC at Sister Lillian’s retirement party, September 4, 2014, Denver

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September is Membership Month at NLIHC!

 Help Strengthen NLIHC This Membership Month!

September is membership month at the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)! We are working throughout this month, to expand our coalition. We are asking you to help us by either joining NLIHC or recruiting at least one new member. If everyone pitches in, we will double our membership and significantly increase our power to change housing policy for the better.

Since 1974, NLIHC has pursued its mission to achieve socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. I am writing you today with the hope that you’ll join us in our unwavering commitment to this mission. I am asking you to make a choice about the mounting inequality in our country.

While some people insist our democracy is broken, we look to our fellow citizens to end the stalemate in Washington. It is only with our engagement as citizens that Congress will face the issue of deepening inequality and address the housing needs of the lowest income Americans.

By joining NLIHC, you can play a critical part in this. We will provide you with the tools and access you need to be a powerful housing advocate. From our research reports and weekly policy updates in Memo to Members to our Calls to Action and legislative forum, we will help you prepare for and engage in effective federal housing policy advocacy. 

Our coalition includes advocates of every stripe – low income tenants, statewide advocacy organizations, affordable housing developers, tenant organizers, social service providers, government agencies, students, church groups and more. No matter what your background is, there is a place for you with us.

Together, we can advance our mission to achieve socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. It is in our power to create a more equitable future for our country. 

Please join us

Comments? Questions? Contact outreach@nlihc.org

 Happy Membership Month!

 

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NLIHC Releases Report: AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING STILL ELUSIVE FOR LOWEST INCOME AMERICANS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

August 25, 2014

CONTACT:  Christine Campbell, ccampbell@nlihc.org 347-866-2320

 

REPORT: AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING STILL ELUSIVE FOR LOWEST INCOME AMERICANS

There are more renters today than in previous decades, but there are not enough units renting at affordable prices to meet the needs of the lowest income households. According to Housing Spotlight: The Affordable Rental Housing Gap Persists, released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), there is a deficit of 7.1 million rental units affordable and available to extremely low income households, those with income at or below 30% of area median income. Nationwide, there are only 31 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renters. Extremely low income renters make up 25% of the total renter population, but just 7% of all rental units were affordable and available to this population. This report is based on 2012 data, the latest available.

 For the first time, this edition of Housing Spotlight also highlights how it is nearly impossible for renters with income at or below 15% of area median income to find housing that they can afford. These renters are considered deeply low income by NLIHC. They are most often elderly or disabled households living on fixed incomes, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). There were 4 million of these renter households in 2012, but just 16 affordable and available units for every 100 of them, and 90% spent more than half of their income on housing costs.  

Along with these and other national statistics, the report provides data by state, and for the first time this year, by metropolitan area, to provide more clarity on where housing need is greatest. The states where extremely low income renters were least likely to find housing affordable and available to them were Nevada, with just 15 units of available and affordable housing per 100 renters, followed by Arizona and California (20), Florida and Oregon (21), and Texas (26). The states with the most rental units affordable and available to extremely low income households were South Dakota (54) and North Dakota (52). In every state, at least half of all extremely low income renters spent more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs.

 Because affordable rental units within a state are often located in parts of the state that are far away from jobs, transit, and other services, NLIHC also looked at the shortage of units for the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest renter populations, and found the situation grim for the lowest income renter households. The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metro area in Nevada had the greatest need, with just 12 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renter households. No metro area had more than 44 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renter households.

 It has always been difficult for lower income households to find affordable units, and today it is harder than ever because renting has become an increasingly common choice among higher income households since the housing crisis. The number of renters with income greater than 120% of area median income increased by 1.2 million between 2009 and 2012, transforming the rental market by putting upward pressure on rents.

“The housing crisis pushed higher wage earners into the rental market causing rent increases and a surge in the development of luxury apartments, making it nearly impossible for extremely low income households to find housing that is truly affordable to them,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The way to close the gap in rental housing affordable and available to all segments of the extremely low income population,” she continued, “is to fully fund the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF).” The NHTF is a program signed into law in 2008 to distribute dedicated sources of revenue to states to preserve and expand the supply of rental housing targeted to extremely low income households.

The report is available at http://nlihc.org/article/housing-spotlight-volume-4-issue-1

More information about the NHTF is available at http://nlihc.org/issues/nhtf

Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes

 

 

 

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Are you a Member of the National Low Income Housing Coalition?

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) advocates for a wide range of housing policy issues. Legislatively, NLIHC is working to influence Congress and the Administration on the following issues:

  • Permanently protecting tenants at foreclosure;
  • Expanding housing funding in the federal budget and seeking a permanent end to sequestration;
  • Achieving housing finance reform that includes funding for the National Housing Trust Fund;
  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing; and
  • Assuring tenants’ interests are reflected in any changes to HUD and RD programs.

Beyond our legislative work, NLIHC is producing high quality research and advocacy publications, all of which are available at reduced or no cost to members. These include:

Be a part of these important efforts and strengthen your advocacy by joining NLIHC. You can join as an organization or as an individual. Please note that dues amounts are suggested. We want everyone to join no matter how little or much you can afford.

Our success is built on the support of advocates like yourself.

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Congress at Home, Advocates Should Urge Action in Fall

 

Will you be meeting with you representatives this month while they are in district?  Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are on recess during the month of August, resuming legislative business on Monday, September 8. While they are in their home districts and with most House Members and 27 Senators seeking reelection in November, housing and homeless advocates should take the opportunity to remind them of the work they have left to do before the end of the 113th Congress.

A top “must pass” item is the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act (PTFA). The current PTF law expires at the end of 2014. Unless it is made permanent or extended by December 31, many tenants whose landlords or property owners lose their properties to foreclosure will no longer have federal protections against imminent eviction. The laws governing tenant rights will revert to the array of state laws on the status of tenants at foreclosure, most of which still offer less protection than the federal law. S. 1761 and H.R. 3543 are the two Permanently Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure bills that need a vehicle for enactment this year.

Congress also must complete its FY15 HUD and USDA Rural Housing Appropriations bills. The Senate and the House will delay finalizing these bills until after the November election, but all Members need to hear that you expect funding at the levels in the bills that have cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee.

While no further action is likely on either housing finance reform or tax reform, advocates should stress that when Congress does act on these issues in the 114th Congress that robust funding for the National Housing Trust Fund must be included.

For more information on these issues and more, go to http://nlihc.org/issues.

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