NLIHC is pleased to announce the addition of two statewide coalitions to its State Coalition Partner network. The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) and the Oregon Opportunity Network (Oregon ON) were approved as NLIHC state partners by the NLIHC Board of Directors on November 15. These two organizations expand the network to 66 state coalitions in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC)
Established in 2000, MAHC is dedicated to advocating as a collective voice for affordable rental housing in Maryland by ensuring adequate public and private resources, and efficient and effective housing programs. MAHC provides events and programs that allow the affordable rental housing community to network, share information and best practices, and advance its advocacy for affordable rental housing. MAHC also works to develop and nurture partnerships with government agencies. A wide array of organizations and individuals compose MAHC’s more than 160 members, including nonprofit and for-profit developers, community action groups, state and local housing authorities, property managers, financial institutions, investors and syndicators, community development organizations, contractors, architects, engineers, consultants, and individuals.
In 2012, MAHC played a key role in the creation of Maryland’s Rental Housing Works initiative, which provides gap financing for the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing. Rental Housing Works is financed through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Bond Program and the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The initiative has received more than $62 million in state funding for the development of affordable rental housing over the last three years. MAHC was awarded NLIHC’s 2013 State and Local Organizing Award for its work to establish Rental Housing Works.
“MAHC is excited to be part of the NLIHC State Coalition network,” said Miranda Darden, MAHC’s Executive Director. “We look forward to strengthening our relationship with NLIHC and working with state coalitions around the country on our common goal of increasing resources for affordable rental housing.”
The Oregon Opportunity Network (Oregon ON)
Oregon ON was founded in 2008 as the result of a merger between Oregon’s two community development associations, the Portland-based Association of Oregon Community Development Associations, and the statewide Community Development Network. The two organizations merged in order to increase influence, better utilize resources, and allow a stronger organizational focus on policy advocacy and industry best practices. Oregon ON’s network of 200 organizations and individuals provide housing and economic opportunities for working families, people with disabilities, and seniors. Members include community development corporations, housing authorities, community action agencies, and other advocates.
In 2013 Oregon ON successfully spearheaded a unique coalition of farm interests, community nonprofits, and housing advocates that came together to help secure passage of HB 3367, a tax credit package that included extension of the Agricultural Workforce Housing Tax Credit (formerly known as the Farmworker Housing Tax Credit Program). Set to expire on January 1, 2014, the bill extended it to 2020, making it possible to expand the supply of safe, decent, affordable housing for agricultural workers in communities and on farms. Extension was an important part of the agenda of the Oregon Housing Alliance, another NLIHC State Coalition Partner, of which Oregon ON is a key member. This year, NLIHC awarded Oregon ON a small grant to work on the United for Homes campaign. As a grantee, they have increased the number of campaign endorsers from Oregon, and have had important meetings with key federal legislators.
“We are pleased to become an NLIHC State Coalition Partner,” said John Miller, Oregon ON’s Executive Director. “We very much look forward to getting involved in the good work of the State Coalition network.”
A list of NLIHC’s State Coalition Partners and more information about the State Coalition project is at www.nlihc.org/partners/state