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.
Barbara Burnham is currently Managing Partner at Seasoned Partners and former Vice President for Federal Policy at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Barbara served on NHC’s Board of Governors from 2009 to 2014 and has much experience and insight about NHC’s success over the years. When I was tasked with finding someone who could speak about the history and success of NHC over the years, it was agreed that Barbara is a great person to talk to.. She so willingly shared some of her fondest memories of NHC and what she believes has kept the organization strong throughout its 85 years of moving housing forward.
She believes that much of NHC’s success is attributed to NHC’s role as a “national clearinghouse” for federal policy reform, critical and timely housing research and guidance from Board of Governors member who have the experience to provide leadership and guidance on an array of housing issues.
“NHC stands out to me as the one membership organization in the country that consistently stays grounded through its involvement in regional, state and local affordable housing coalitions to ensure that NHC’s agenda truly represents ground-level affordable housing issues,” Barbara said.
Some of Barbara’s fondest memories include HUD budget briefings where she acknowledges that NHC members tended to ask some of the most on-target questions, providing unique insight and invaluable opportunities for learning experiences. And of course our Annual Gala—or the Housing Prom, as Barbara and so many others refer to it—is a major highlight. “As far as I am concerned the knowledge and experience represented at the Gala and the policy conference that follows, if harnessed, could solve most of the housing problems our county faces.”
Founded in 1931 during the Great Depression when families’ livelihoods disappeared and housing in many communities meant substandard living, NHC remains a consistent force in helping communities to move through housing crises across the country. Barbara believes longevity, consistency and sound leadership are three adjectives that are synonymous with the National Housing Conference’s continued efforts to move housing forward.