NLIHC unanimously voted six new members onto its board of directors on March 24: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Vice President of Communications and Public Policy Cathy Alderman; New York City tenant association leader Loraine Brown; Georgia Advancing Communities Together President and CEO Bambie Hayes-Brown; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Vice President for Housing Policy Peggy Bailey; Boston University Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Children’s Healthwatch Co-Lead Principal Investigator Megan Sandel; and Washington Low Income Housing Alliance resident advocate and Resident Action Project Steering Committee member Mindy Woods.
Cathy Alderman joined the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (an NLIHC state partner) as vice president of communications and public policy in 2016. Ms. Alderman oversees public policy efforts to create lasting solutions for families, children, and individuals who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness throughout Colorado. “I am honored to join the NLIHC Board,” said Ms. Alderman. “Now, more than ever, our advocacy with the federal government and Congress to increase investment in housing and homelessness is critical to save lives and build stronger communities across the country. NLIHC has demonstrated outstanding credibility, influence, and strategic direction for moving the needle on unacceptable inaction by the federal government. As a state partner, we have long supported the work of NLIHC, and I personally look forward to assisting the board and the Coalition’s amazing staff to ensure that everyone in America has a safe place to call home.”
Loraine Brown has held the position of board member with several tenant associations throughout New York City, including Manhattan Community Board 8, for over two decades. Ms. Brown has worked to highlight the intersectionality between housing, gender equality, justice reform, climate and environmental justice, and human rights. “I am honored to serve on the NLIHC Board of Directors and contribute to the important work of addressing policies that will increase affordable housing for those with the lowest incomes,” said Ms. Brown. “The needs of this community are ones that I am personally invested in and are integral to the overall economic growth of this country. I feel privileged to work alongside leaders in this field to advance NLIHC’s mission and empower all housing residents.”
Bambie Hayes-Brown joined the Georgia Advancing Communities Together (an NLIHC state partner), as president and CEO in 2018. Ms. Hayes-Brown has 20 years of experience in rural and urban community and economic development, including with the Housing Choice Voucher Program, public housing, the HUD-VASH program, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Community Development Block Grants, the HOME Investment Partnership program, tax-exempt bonds, and public/private deal structuring. "I am thrilled to be selected to serve on the Board of Directors for NLIHC,” said Ms. Hayes-Brown. “As an individual who was previously homeless and a previous public housing resident, I am excited to lend a lived-experience voice to influence national policy to ensure decent, safe, and low-cost housing for all. The City of Atlanta and many urban communities’ towns throughout Georgia have faced significant affordable housing challenges. Rents continue to increase, and wages have remained stagnant, making affordable housing out of reach for Georgia's lowest-income residents. Georgia's rural residents face even more challenges with lack of access to employment centers, transportation, hospital closures, disinvestment, and aging naturally occurring affordable housing. The NLIHC and its support, expertise and research has been invaluable to Georgia to help move the needle to a more inclusive affordable housing ecosystem to our nation's most vulnerable populations."
Peggy Bailey has overseen housing policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as a vice president since 2016. Throughout her career, Ms. Bailey has worked to help build connections between the housing community and health, nutrition, child welfare, and other systems of care amid the growing recognition that access to stable, affordable housing is a necessary foundation for low-income people to meet other basic needs. “I am excited to join the NLIHC board,” said Ms. Bailey. “NLIHC and its members are critical in the fight to overcome the income and achievement gaps that marginalized people experience. The fact that ZIP code is predictive of these outcomes illustrates the role housing policy and practice play in people’s success. Making housing affordable for all and breaking down the barriers that obstruct fair access to safe, healthy housing are what drives me. I look forward to bringing that passion to NLIHC.”
Megan Sandel, MD, has held the position of associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health for the last eight years. Dr. Sandel is also the co-lead principal investigator with Children’s Health Watch, one of the founding partners of the NLIHC-led Opportunity Starts at Home multisector affordable homes campaign. She is a nationally recognized expert on housing, child health, and social determinants of health. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that housing is healthcare,” said Dr. Sandel. “As a doctor, I am committed to elevating the health impacts of issues such as lack of housing and food insecurity on marginalized communities. I am joining NLIHC’s board to help spread information and resources on how housing impacts everyone’s wellbeing. The connections between housing and health care are evident. As an NLIHC board member who also works in the healthcare sector, I will ensure these connections are shared widely in one voice so that everyone, particularly the most marginalized, has a stable place to call home.”
Mindy Woods is one of the founding members of Washington Low Income Housing Alliance’s Resident Action Project. She is an advocate for veterans and other people experiencing homelessness. She uses her voice at the state legislature and on social media to connect with lawmakers, journalists, and other advocates to share stories, resources, and calls to action. “Over the last decade,” said Ms. Woods, “I have worked to elevate the resources and issues of people experiencing homelessness because as a single mother who has experienced homelessness twice, I know that homelessness can happen to anyone. All it takes is one incident—one job loss, medical bill, rent increase—and anyone can become homeless, no one is immune. The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the connection between housing and healthcare at the highest level. Across the country, millions of people looked to their members of Congress, landlords and homeless service providers to assist them in getting through to the next month, not knowing if the next month they will have wages or a roof over their heads where they can self-quarantine and recover. I am happy to be on the board of NLIHC where we can work collectively to influence positive policy changes that will help mitigate the increase of homelessness during the current pandemic and after future disasters.”
“Each new NLIHC board member brings valuable perspectives and years of leadership and experience advocating for affordable and decent homes for those with the lowest incomes,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Adding this experience to the NLIHC board builds on the high-level expertise of those already serving. I look forward to working with the NLIHC board of directors in continuing to advance socially just policies to ensure decent, safe, accessible, and affordable homes for those with the greatest needs.”
Check out the full list of NLIHC board of directors at: http://nlihc.org/about/board