NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman's Statement on Housing America Month
Each October, NAHRO and its members celebrate Housing America Month to raise awareness of the important role affordable housing plays in vibrant communities across the country and the importance of supporting the practitioners and programs that preserve and create affordable housing.
We raise awareness by highlighting the amazing work of housing professionals who build and maintain housing, and who partner with health and education experts to help families achieve their potential.
We also raise awareness by highlighting the critical roles of key federal programs, such as the public housing program, Section 8, HOME, CDBG, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Without programs like these, many families, youth, seniors and veterans would have few housing options available to them. We must continue to support these programs, and design new national and local initiatives that incentivize and/or finance the creation of new housing units.
The number of households that need access to housing that is affordable to them continues to grow, and the supply of housing is not keeping up with need. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies notes that overall housing construction has barely kept pace with household growth for an unprecedented eight years, and most of this housing is intended primarily for the higher end of the market. Meanwhile, the stock of low-rent housing has shrunk by about 4 million units since 2011.
The good news is that there are increasing signs of the will to address this crisis. I am encouraged by the increased number of housing headlines in the media, the affordable housing platforms being released by presidential candidates, and the housing-related legislation being put forward in Congress.
And finally, we raise awareness by announcing the winners of our “What Home Means to Me” poster contest. where the artwork of thirteen youth from around the country are showcased in Housing America's annual calendar. These poignant depictions of home from children who live in NAHRO member-owned or –administered assisted housing underline the vital importance of the work that housing organizations do every day. Check our Twitter account @nahronational or the Housing America website daily as we reveal the winners.
This is what Housing America Month is about – celebrating our housing successes and continuing to lay the groundwork for future achievements. I hope you enjoy learning about what housing and community development agencies are achieving in neighborhoods all across our nation, and that you will join us in sharing the importance of Housing America.
Contact: Sylvia Gimenez
NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of nearly 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO's membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.6 million people.