WASHINGTON, DC – May 21, 2018 - The National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) hosted the first ever “Housing is Infrastructure!” briefing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, May 15th, as part of the official Infrastructure Week calendar of activities. The briefing featured a panel of national housing experts that discussed their various perspectives of housing as infrastructure. This briefing was the first affordable housing event featured during the official Infrastructure Week.
NACCED Executive Director Laura DeMaria said, “NACCED and our coalitions have been working hard to raise the profile of housing as infrastructure. Affordable housing investment is an essential piece of our country’s infrastructure strategy, and any infrastructure conversations happening on Capitol Hill – and especially those occurring during Infrastructure Week - need to include a significant affordable housing component.”
The briefing kicked off with speaker Jim McDonough, County Commissioner from Ramsey County, MN. McDonough provided attendees with an overview on the importance of investing in the development and preservation of affordable housing resources in the country. McDonough additionally outlined the impact of these investments for local governments.
Sarah Mickelson, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), Emily Cadik, Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), Elizabeth Strojan, New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYCHDC), and Ellen Lurie Hoffman, National Housing Trust (NHT) served as panelists for the briefing. The panel covered topics including the economic impact of a housing shortage, the backlog of public housing maintenance, private activity bonds as a tool for a wide range of infrastructure needs—including housing, and the importance of enhancing affordable housing resources.
Emily Cadik, Executive Director of AHTCC said of the briefing, “While we often talk about the need for affordable housing and the success of the different programs that provide it, it's important during Infrastructure Week to also reflect on the benefits to local economies that result from building and preserving affordable housing. Through job creation and the stimulative effect on local economies, affordable housing has far-reaching benefits beyond just those who live in it."
A video summary of the briefing is available on NACCED’s YouTube channel here.