2014 marks the 40th anniversary of National Low Income Housing Coalition and the 25th anniversary of Out of Reach. In 1974, Cushing Dolbeare convened the “Ad hoc Low Income Housing Coalition.” Soon after, the ad hoc coalition was organized and incorporated into two partner organizations: the Low Income Housing Information Service (LIHIS) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). Barry Zigas was hired as the new Executive Secretary of both LIHIS and NLIHC in 1984 and Cushing stayed on to chair the NLIHC board and serve as a consultant to LIHIS. The two organizations merged in 1996.
Cushing believed strongly in the importance and influence of good data. She was also adept at managing and analyzing data electronically and was one of the first advocates to get a personal computer. Out of Reach reflected this passion and commitment. Cushing did the analysis and authored the first Out of Reach, with the subtitle Why Everyday People Can’t Find Affordable Housing, which was published by LIHIS in August 1989. Seven hundred copies were printed and there was a second printing in December. The Ford Foundation and Edna McConnell Clark Foundation provided financial support. Cushing was the primary author or consulted on every issue of Out of Reach until her death in 2005. The 2005 issue is dedicated to her.
On Monday, March 24, NLIHC will release the 25th anniversary issue of Out of Reach.
NLIHC will mark its 40th anniversary throughout 2014, culminating in commemorative event on Monday, November 17 in Washington, DC. Please save the date.