Louis Dolbeare and Sheila Crowley, NLiHC President and CEO
Louis Dolbeare and Sheila Crowley, NLIHC President and CEO

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) concluded a year-long commemoration of 40 years of endeavoring to expand and preserve housing for people with extremely low incomes with a reception on November 17, 40 Years: Looking Back…Moving Forward.  NLIHC held the reception at the historic Eastern Market in Washington DC, the stomping ground of NLIHC founder Cushing Niles Dolbeare.  Attended by about 300 current and former NLIHC leaders, staff, partners, and friends, the reception featured a poignant moment when Cushing’s 98-year-old widower, Louis Dolbeare, spoke to the crowd by video and in person about the founding years of the Coalition.  See Louis Dolbeare’s video here: http://nlihc.org/40years/video

During the celebration, NLIHC announced the formation of a new Leadership Council of former board chairs, executive directors, and founding members.  The Leadership Council is NLIHC’s way of honoring the legacy of the Coalition and its talented, trail-blazing leaders over the years, as well as continuing to benefit from their wisdom and guidance.

Brenda Clement, Chair of the NLIHC Board of Directors, served as host for the festivities, introducing past board chairs and current CEO, Sheila Crowley. Ms. Crowley reminisced about her mentor and friend, Cushing Dolbeare, who is known nationally as a brilliant pioneer and conscience of the affordable housing movement.  Split this Rock, a youth spoken-word troupe capped off the evening with a stirring performance that celebrated NLIHC’s past 40 years and dreamed of the day when affordable housing is available to all of the poorest in America.  Local artist Kent Willis commemorated NLIHC’s 40th Anniversary with a poster honoring NLIHC’s past while looking towards the future.  The evening also provided an opportunity for attendees to be part of the Coalition’s legacy by contributing to the Cushing Niles Dolbeare Endowment Fund.  Click here to donate: http://nlihc.org/donate

Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to connect with former board, staff, and members, as well as with many Coalition friends and partners, as they fondly remembered the road that brought us here, newly inspired to continue the effort to ensure that people with the lowest incomes have affordable and decent homes.