NLIHC State and Tribal Partners Attend Pre-Forum Convening in Washington, D.C.

NLIHC state and tribal partners from around the country convened for two days of peer-learning, networking, and panel discussions with national partners and guests from the Biden administration on March 18 and 19. Forty-six individuals representing partner organizations from more than 30 states and tribal regions attended the convening, which took place immediately before NLIHC’s 2024 Housing Policy Forum: An Unwavering Path Forward to Housing Justice. In addition to offering a number of sessions and panels, the convening included an inspiring dinner with tenant leaders featuring a performance by SongRise, a women’s social justice a cappella group.

The State and Tribal Partner Convening began with remarks and updates from NLIHC staff and board members. State and tribal partners introduced themselves and shared their recent advocacy successes and challenges. The group then dove into peer-led conversations about a variety of topics. Staff from the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development described their efforts advocating for the District of Columbia’s “Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act.” Partners from Housing Action Illinois and the Coalition for the Homeless in New York summarized their work to ensure that the housing needs of asylum-seekers and migrants are met. Staff from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, both members of NLIHC’s current racial equity cohort, talked about strategies to advance racial equity within their organizations and with external partners, while partners from the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance explained how they have centered the voices of residents within their organization. NLIHC’s research team shared its plans to conduct a national survey of renters and collect feedback from partners.

The second day of the convening began with a panel discussion by national partners about the dangerous trend of states and localities criminalizing homelessness and the upcoming Supreme Court case City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson. Representatives from NLIHC, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Coalition for the Homeless, National Homelessness Law Center, and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities described how they are working together in new ways to support advocates on the ground and build a national movement for housing justice.

The panel was followed by a conversation with Chad Maisel, special assistant to the president for housing and urban policy. Mr. Maisel spoke about the Biden administration’s unprecedented efforts to expand renter protections, increase housing supply, further fair housing laws, and highlight the issue of housing affordability in the recent State of the Union.

Next, staff from NLIHC’s nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes campaign provided updates on their work. Partners from the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, Housing Network of Rhode Island, and Housing Alliance Pennsylvania shared examples of how they are mobilizing low-income renters to vote and elevating housing as a critically important issue in this year’s elections. The convening concluded with partners sharing highlights of their time together.

NLIHC’s state and tribal partners are those member organizations with which the Coalition works most closely in each state or region of the country. Partners receive specialized support to enhance their participation in federal housing advocacy and in turn commit to being primary advocates for housing for the lowest-income renters in their regions and educating and mobilizing their networks around NLIHC’s policy priorities. Currently, NLIHC has 66 state partners operating in 45 states and the District of Columbia, as well as one tribal partner operating in the Northern Plains. NLIHC is always seeking to add new state and tribal partners, particularly in geographic regions without an existing partner. For more information about becoming an NLIHC state or tribal partner, please review the qualifications and expectations.