WASHINGTON — The National Housing Conference (NHC) is pleased to announce the honorees to be recognized at the Annual Housing Visionary Awards Gala on June 20, 2023, at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. This year’s recipients are distinguished leaders in housing and community development whose work has helped move our nation toward NHC’s vision of an America where everyone is able to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community.
The 2023 recipients of NHC’s Housing Visionary Award are Susan Dewey, CEO of Virginia Housing and Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). NHC will also present Douglas Bibby, former president of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), with the Carl A.S. Coan, Sr., Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service.
Susan Dewey has served as Virginia Housing’s CEO since 1999. Prior to this appointment, Dewey served as a Virginia Housing Commissioner. At that time, she was the State Treasurer of Virginia where she directed all operations for the Department of the Treasury and the Treasury Board. Today, Dewey serves on many housing-related nonprofit boards, such as Housing Forward Virginia, as well as the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, where she has been a key leader in efforts to reach first time homebuyers in communities not well served by conventional mortgage marketing efforts.
“I am truly humbled to be named one of NHC’s 2023 Housing Visionary Award honorees,” said Dewey. “This honor is not mine alone but a reflection of our associates and partners, who are deeply committed to our affordable housing mission and making a difference for the people and communities we serve. I’m proud of what we have accomplished together since opening our doors over 50 years ago and look forward to finding new and innovative ways to help more Virginians achieve the dream of homeownership, maintain access to quality affordable rental housing, and making home the cornerstone of thriving communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Lisa Rice also credits her success to the powerful team behind her, explaining, “this honor and award are really a reflection of the incredible work done by the entire staff at the National Fair Housing Alliance. Still, we all know that there is so much more that must be done. Threats to a fair and just society may be more subtle today. But they are just as pernicious as they were 55 years ago when the Kerner Commission released its conclusive report and the Fair Housing Act was signed into law, just days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Our fight for fair housing and equity continues, and we appreciate allies, like NHC, who aid in the fight for justice.” Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, and the Fair Housing Act passed in Congress on April 10 and signed into law on April 11, 1968.
Rice, as president and CEO of NFHA, is at the forefront of efforts to advance fair housing principles, preserve and broaden fair housing protections, and expand equal housing opportunities for millions of Americans. She played a major role in crafting sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and in establishing the Office of Fair Lending within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She also helped lead the investigation and resolution of precedent-setting fair housing cases, which have resulted in providing remedies for millions of people as well as the elimination of systemic discriminatory practices involving lending, insurance, rental, and zoning matters.
The Carl A.S. Coan, Sr., Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service is a special, non-annual award given in recognition of extraordinary lifetime achievements. Under Doug Bibby’s leadership, NMHC represented the industry on Capitol Hill and before the regulatory agencies, promoted research and the exchange of information, and advocated for rental housing across a broad spectrum of issues. Bibby has been a lifelong advocate for affordable rental housing. Prior to joining NMHC, he spent 16 years as a senior officer of Fannie Mae, where he was part of the top management team credited with the remarkable turnaround at Fannie Mae in the book “Good to Great.” He has been active in the non-profit community of Washington, D.C. for over 30 years. “I am humbled and honored to be recognized for the Carl A.S. Coan, Sr., Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service,” Bibby said. “I’ve spent the past 35 years working on issues to which he devoted his life— public service and housing affordability—and his shadow looms large over all of us who have joined the battles that he initiated.”
“These awards are among the most prestigious in the field of affordable housing and community development,” said David M. Dworkin, NHC president and CEO. “Doug Bibby has been a committed leader in market-led affordable housing since the 1980s. Lisa Rice has become one of the most important voices advocating for fair housing, actively working with a diverse range of political backgrounds to build consensus on regulations to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing as required in the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and restore the Disparate Impact rule at HUD. She has also worked closely with the mortgage finance industry to develop a unified response to appraisal discrimination, while at the same time advocating on behalf of a broad range of fair housing issues in Congress, with HUD and the White House. Susan Dewey has led the field in efforts to find and help homeowners and renters who have struggled to make their housing payments during the pandemic. She is frequently cited as a prime example of how to leverage this important funding.”
The Housing Visionary Awards Gala will begin at 5:30 p.m. on June 20, 2023, at The Anthem (901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20024). Contact NHC Chief Operating Officer Amanda Mitchell at email@example.com for information on attendance.
Founded in 1931, the National Housing Conference is the oldest and broadest housing coalition in America. NHC is a diverse continuum of affordable housing stakeholders who convene and collaborate through dialogue, advocacy, research, and education, to develop equitable solutions that serve our common interest—an America where everyone is able to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. Politically diverse and nonpartisan, NHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.