National Housing Conference successfully launched its newest initiative, the Housing Communications Network, on September 14 in Washington, DC. Over 90 people participated in a dynamic forum hosted at Collingwood Communications that was the first of many convenings to discuss how Americans perceive housing in this new era. Moderated by Erika Poethig, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at HUD, the panel was composed of communications experts: John Buckley, Managing Director of the Harbour Group, Tony Fratto, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary in the George W. Bush Administration, and Jody Shenn, Mortgage and Housing Reporter for Bloomberg News.
Participants felt energized and stimulated by the discussion that delved into the change in the framing of housing pre- and post crisis, who is a credible messenger and how advocates can be effective promoters of affordable housing. It was suggested that messaging on housing needs to be rebalanced to disclose the attributes of homeownership and rental housing and that communities thrive with a mix of both.
In this New Era of Housing we can only be successfully if we work together to move affordable housing to a first-tier issue on the national agenda.