In lieu of the 2020 Annual Conference, we hosted a series of webinars to discuss important housing issues at the state and federal level, along with racial disparity in housing, and the effects of COVID on housing.  We gathered as a community of neighborhood leaders to discuss the critical housing issues we face.

We kicked off with a powerful conversation, “Housing, Racial Disparity & COVID”.  Wow. Just, wow. Thank you to our special guests for their time, insight and wisdom:

Dr. Don Trahan Jr., Director, Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI), NeighborWorks America to showcase this webinar.  https://drdontrahanjr.com 
Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director, Fifth Avenue Committee – http://www.fifthave.org/
Alex Castro, Executive Director, PathStone – https://pathstone.org/

Important conversations continued with Senator Kavanagh and Assemblyman Cymbrowitz during our 2nd webinar, discussing the Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act of 2019.  We thank them for their deep dive into this and related issues, and for answering all the questions we had time to ask.

New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh – Chair of the NYS Senate Housing Committee
https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/brian-kavanagh/about
New York State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz – Chair of the NYS Assembly Housing Committee
https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Steven-Cymbrowitz/bio/

3rd time is the charm! Our third webinar in the series was everything we hoped it would be.  Commissioner Visnauskas updated us on the state of HCR, including NPP funding and new program initiatives.  HCR – OCR programs were reviewed and funding opportunities, that NPPs might be missing, were highlighted.  The whole panel took time to address all of the questions that were asked.  We thank them very much for spending the morning with us. 

Programs discussed included:
Neighborhood Preservation Program, https://hcr.ny.gov/neighborhood-and-rural-preservation-programs
Access to Home, https://hcr.ny.gov/access-home
Residential Emergency Services to Offer (Home) Repairs to the Elderly (RESTORE), https://hcr.ny.gov/restore-program

A 4th webinar video snafu deterred neither the hosts nor guests from continuing the important discussion of housing at the Federal level.  A big thank you to our knowledgeable (and patient) panelists for sharing their time and insights. 

To see Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s, highly anticipated and highly elusive (until now) video, click HERE
For additional information referenced in this video, go the the NLIHC website or click on these links:
https://reports.nlihc.org/gap
https://reports.nlihc.org/rental-assistance
https://nlihc.org/coronavirus-and-housing-homelessness/national-eviction-moratorium
NLIHC’s recently released research note: Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in response to COVID-19 https://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Emergency-Rental-Assistance-Programs-3.pdf

We can’t thank you enough…
Frank Woodruff – Executive Director of National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations:  https://www.naceda.org/frank-woodruff
Debbie Weinstein – Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs:  https://www.chn.org/about/

An ultimate question for the ultimate event: State Funding Post COVID, will there be an money for not-for-profits?

Thank you to our entire panel for providing perspective, resources, and a confident look into the future:
▪Fran Barrett, Governor’s Office Interagency Coordinator for Not-For-Profit Services
▪Karen Coleman, Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development, NYS Department of Labor
▪Doreen Harris, Acting President and CEO of NYSERDA
▪Greg Olsen, Acting Director NYS Office of the Aging