NLIHC’s second annual State and Local Organizing Award was presented to Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) on March 29 at the morning plenary of NLIHC’s Housing Policy Conference.
CHAPA, an NLIHC state partner, was recognized for its work in the “Vote No on 2” campaign to defeat a ballot initiative to repeal Massachusetts’ affordable housing law, which has created 58,000 homes across the state, including 80% of new affordable housing outside of the larger cities. Campaign members were successful in preserving the affordable housing law with more than 1.2 million voters and 80% of cities and towns voting against the ballot initiative by a 58%-42% margin.
“It is heartening to know that there is widespread support for affordable housing in Massachusetts. A combination of grassroots organizing and a comprehensive communications strategy was crucial to winning that support,” said Aaron Gornstein, executive director for CHAPA. “Millions of people now have a better idea of what affordable housing looks like, who it helps, and how it contributes to our overall quality of life. Our challenge now is to build off this momentum and help advance new housing initiatives in the coming years.”
The award was presented by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), a supporter of the campaign, and Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of NLIHC.
The State and Local Organizing Award recognizes outstanding achievement for organizing activity at the state or local level that furthers the mission of NLIHC.