Although many of you know, some may not, that I am retiring from the Housing Trust Fund Project of the Center for Community Change at the end of the 2016 calendar year. The Housing Trust Fund Project will remain a commitment of the Center for Community Change and administered under the fine hand of Michael Anderson, as director, and Katy Heins, as lead organizer. Basically, the work of the Housing Trust Fund Project will remain focused on building the movement for housing trust funds across the country by securing dedicated public revenues to support the critical need for affordable homes and expanding the capacity and power of advocacy within our partner organizations.
Over the last thirty years, it has been a deep honor and privilege to create and lead the Housing Trust Fund Project. Working with partners in every state across the country, I have witnessed the remarkable dedication and talent of affordable housing and homeless advocates as you have won campaigns, engaged in creative educational and advocacy efforts, sustaining and strengthening the voice that everyone deserves a safe affordable place to call home.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of building a movement that began with less than a handful of housing trust funds and has now grown to more than 770 funds in cities, counties, and states across the country generating in excess of $1 billion dollars a year to help make this country a fair equitable place for all of us. And with the long campaign to reach implementation of the National Housing Trust Fund, we have all enjoyed a sigh of relief, as these funds begin to reach each state.
To my friends, you know that fair housing and the fight against discrimination is what has always fueled my passion to this field. I chose to work on building what could make a positive contribution toward fairness and equity for all—a belief that, sadly, this country needs to continue to learn to embrace.
To say thank you is kind of simplistic given the depth of emotion I have about what has been accomplished through your persistent and often lengthy advocacy, but it is each and every one of you that made the housing trust fund movement what it is today. Every state has been impacted and millions of people have had their lives changed as a result of what housing trust funds have accomplished. Hundreds of communities have reached out to the Housing Trust Fund Project. Did we win every campaign … well, almost J !! There are so many moments and stories we share that cover the spectrum of heart-breaking to hilarious to inspiring. Thank you for your dedication and the honor of working side by side with you. It does take a community—affordable housing is the foundation of every community—and you are making it possible through your love and inspiration. My deepest gratitude for all you have accomplished.