“People say that being an advocate on behalf of the poor means taking the long view. My response is that it is easy for me to take the long view because I don’t have to live day to day with the consequences of our national neglect of the housing needs of poor people. The long view surely isn’t good enough for those kids sleeping over at the shelter at DC General tonight. They need safe and stable homes now, before it is too late for them. The future of each homeless child matters.”
—Sheila Crowley, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition
It was in 1974 when Cushing Dolbeare convened the Ad Hoc Low Income Housing Coalition, bringing together representatives of labor, faith-based, and human services organizations to protect the interests of the lowest income people in major changes to federal housing policy that occurred that year. This was also the year the Section 8 program and Community Development Block Grant program were enacted. For 40 years, we have not veered from our focus on the housing needs of the lowest income people.
Throughout 2014, we looked back at the past 40 years of low income housing policy and NLIHC’s leading role, and we are focusing on moving forward with our mission of achieving socially just public policy that assures that the lowest income people have affordable and decent homes.
2014 has turned out to be a watershed year for federal housing policy with the potential that the National Housing Trust Fund will be implemented at long last. It will be the first new federal housing production funding specifically targeted to extremely low income people since Section 8 was enacted 40 years ago. NLIHC will keep moving forward until there is enough funding to end the housing shortage once and for all.