NLIHC Announces 2021 Housing Leadership Award Honorees: Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Maxine Waters, Joy Johnson, and National Housing Law Project’s Housing Justice Network

NLIHC announces today the 2021 Housing Leadership Awards honorees: Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), incoming chair of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee; Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), chair of the House Financial Services Committee; Joy Johnson, long-time resident-leader of the Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents (PHAR) and former NLIHC board member; and the Housing Justice Network of the National Housing Law Project. These exceptional leaders will be recognized at NLIHC’s 39th Annual Housing Leadership Awards Celebration held virtually on Wednesday, April 28. Donate to NLIHC as an individual or as an organization in their honor.

The first award is named for Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA), who championed low-income housing as a U.S. senator and later as chair of the NLIHC board of directors. Senator Sherrod Brown will receive the 2021 Edward W. Brooke Housing Leadership Award for his many years of fighting for racial and social justice, voting rights, and affordable housing and for his exceptional leadership in Congress to address to the housing and homelessness crisis during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. 


Sen. Sherrod Brown

A 2021 Edward W. Brooke Housing Leadership Award will also be given to Representative Maxine Waters for her indispensable leadership fighting for equity and justice, combatting racism, championing the housing needs of the lowest-income people, and achieving critical housing and homelessness resources and protections during the 2020 pandemic. 


Rep. Maxine Waters

The Dolbeare Lifetime Service Award, named for NLIHC’s founder Cushing Niles Dolbeare, who has been called the “godmother” of the affordable housing movement, will be awarded to Joy Johnson for serving her community and the nation for decades as a public housing advocate, organizer, and activist-leader, improving the lives of low-income residents in Charlottesville and across the U.S.     


Joy Johnson

The Sheila Crowley Housing Justice Award is named after former NLIHC President and CEO Sheila Crowley, who led NLIHC for more than 17 years. The National Housing Law Center’s Housing Justice Network will receive the Crowley Award for the Network’s outstanding efforts for over forty years serving on the front lines to advance housing rights and over past year providing essential legal assistance to keep families safely housed during the pandemic.


Recognize these outstanding leaders by making a donation to NLIHC in their honor! 

Donate as an individual at:

Donate as an organization at:

Or text LEADERSHIP to 41444 to donate in honor of the awardees.

Your donation will be recognized in the Leadership Awards Celebration program. The contribution will support NLIHC’s mission to achieve socially just public policy to ensure the lowest-income people have decent, accessible and affordable homes. 

Save the date of April 28! Registration to attend the Housing Leadership Awards Celebration will be forthcoming.