This column was adapted from Chris Estes’s remarks at NHC’s Housing Visionary Award Gala June 2, 2016.
Over June 2 and 3 we marked NHC’s 85-year history—which echoes the history of the affordable housing movement in America—and set the stage for our future. Honoring the work of Rural LISC and the Housing Assistance Council, and addressing the role of housing policy in shaping communities in transition, calls all of us to consider the role the housing movement can play in our country’s success.
As I consider NHC’s history and our role in the development of America’s housing policy, I see a history of achievement, as an organization and as a movement.
NHC endeavors to show the way to solving many of America’s housing challenges, through federal, state and local policy and practice. The future of NHC lies in being at the forefront of developing housing policy that solves these problems. That’s why we’ve focused on fair housing implementation. That’s why we’re bringing together housing leaders from high-cost cities to find ways our communities can become more inclusive. That’s why we research housing’s connection to health, education and economic development.
Housing policy can and should lead the way in creating opportunity for all people. And I’m excited to lead NHC into that future with you.
I believe NHC’s future must also include looking beyond urban and suburban communities, to rural areas that are transforming just as much as the rest of our country and deserve just as much focus. That’s what made honoring two rural housing initiatives with our Housing Visionary Award, and continuing the conversation about housing in all kinds of communities at the Policy Symposium the next day, so important.
Your support for our work, at the Gala, Policy Symposium and throughout the year, keeps our organization strong and helps the housing movement thrive. And we work hard every day to earn that support.
Thank you for being part of our annual events, and for your support of NHC.