Annual housing Gala and Policy Symposium draw hundreds of housing professionals for two days of celebration and conversation about the future of housing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 1, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — As the country recovers from a long housing and economic crisis, the questions of how to shape the future of housing finance and how to help neighborhoods and households recover linger. The National Housing Conference (NHC) honored two organizations at its June 20 Annual Gala—NeighborWorks America and Omni New York—that exemplify the theme of “Housing’s Path Forward: Where We Go from Here.” At the next morning’s Policy Symposium, NHC brought together some of the brightest minds in housing to answer the questions of how to pave that path.
At the historic National Building Museum in downtown Washington, NHC honored NeighborWorks America for its crucial housing counseling programs, which have served more than 1.5 million households in danger of foreclosure, and Omni New York, which works to transform vulnerable New York City neighborhoods one building at a time through extensive rehabilitation of affordable properties, attentive management and desirable community services for residents.
“NHC is very excited to honor two organizations that have not only worked so hard to help residents weather the darkest days of the housing crisis but have also helped to light housing’s path forward as we address the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow,” said NHC President and CEO Chris Estes. “NeighborWorks America’s housing counseling programs have prevented a deepening of the foreclosure crisis that has wracked the country for the past five years, while Omni New York’s transformation of some of New York’s most neglected properties into some of the most desirable homes for low-income residents is a model for the future. We commend both groups and are honored to have the opportunity to highlight their great work.”
At the Gala, NHC also honored Past President Conrad Egan with its Carl Coan, Sr. Award for Public Service to Affordable Housing. The Coan Award was given for the first time since 2009, when NHC awarded it to Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts. Carl Coan, Jr., son of the famed Capitol Hill legislative director and housing advocate for whom the award is named—and a noted housing advocate in his own right—was scheduled to present the award to Egan but passed away June 15 at the age of 79 after a brief battle with cancer. The assembled crowd held a moment of silence for the younger Coan and Egan memorialized him in his acceptance remarks, adding a somber note to the evening’s otherwise celebratory tone.
The morning of June 21, NHC’s 2013 Annual Policy Symposium brought together housing leaders from around the country and policymakers here in Washington to identify housing’s path forward from the destruction wrought by the foreclosure crisis. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan addressed the crowd of over 200 housing stakeholders, highlighting both the strides already taken to stabilize neighborhoods and assist households, and the many more still needed. (Read Donovan’s comments) Two panels—one on restoring neighborhoods post-crisis and another on FHA’s role in financing the recovery—convened experts ranging from scholars and researchers to developers and former FHA commissioners for a wide-ranging discussion on how governments and nonprofits can serve the hardest-hit neighborhoods and most vulnerable families.
”It’s too easy to be distracted by broad-brush headlines about a housing recovery. Speakers at today’s Policy Symposium reminded us that many parts of this country will be left behind unless we sustain the neighborhood and household assistance efforts,” said Ethan Handelman, NHC’s vice president for policy and advocacy. “Neighborhood stabilization and credit availability for low-income and first time homebuyers are even more critical now, as Congress is still working out the housing finance system to come.”
Speakers at the Annual Policy Symposium included:
- Kimberly Jackson, Executive Director, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation
- Chris Estes, President and CEO, National Housing Conference
- Secretary Shaun Donovan, Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Craig Nickerson, President, National Community Stabilization Trust
- Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
- Ann Houston, CEO, The Neighborhood Developers
- Andrew Jakabovics, Senior Director, Policy Development & Research, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
- John O’Callaghan, President and CEO, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc.
- Sean Caron, Chief of Staff, The Community Builders, Inc.
- Mark Willis, Resident Research Fellow, NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
- Brian Montgomery, Chairman, The Collingwood Group (former FHA Commissioner)
- Nicolas P. Retsinas, Senior Lecturer in Real Estate, Harvard Business School (former FHA Commissioner)
- David H. Stevens, President, Mortgage Bankers Association (former FHA Commissioner)
About the National Housing Conference
The National Housing Conference (NHC) represents a diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, non-profit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, realtors, equity investors, and more, all of whom share a commitment to a balanced national housing policy. Since 1931, NHC has been dedicated to ensuring safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. We are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together our broad-based membership advocate on housing issues.
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