As a part of NLIHC’s Membership Month, we are bringing you a series of interviews with our members who are committed to the mission of ending homelessness. In these interviews, we ask our members why they chose to join NLIHC and why they think others should also join the Coalition.Our guest this week is Ruth A. Matz, Executive Director of Community Action North Bay (CAN-B).
Why are you a member of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)?
I am a member because I work with disabled elderly adults. Many of them are homeless and on extremely low income (ELIs).
How did you first get involved in affordable housing?
I got involved in affordable housing in 2010
What do you find most challenging about affordable housing advocacy?
Getting elected and government officials to make affordable housing a priority and act with a sense of urgency.
What is your best advice for housing advocates?
Get the facts and share them with anyone who will listen.
What is your favorite thing about being a member of NLIHC?
I am impressed with the support I get from the staff and also the high quality of information that is provided to the members.
What does “home” mean to you?
What I call home is a safe, affordable and a private place.
Any good book recommendations on affordable housing?
Bridges out of Poverty by Ruby K. Payne PHD.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a member of NLIHC?
Why should someone join NLIHC?
People should join NLIHC to have access to facts and figures that can bolster their arguments in support of more affordable housing for those with extremely low incomes.
Describe a time when you have used NLIHC research.
I have used NLIHC data when I speak to the local COC, the County Board of Supervisors and with Congressman John Garamendi at his forum on homelessness.
Describe a time when you took action as a result of a Call to Action (CTA) from NLIHC.
I have emailed and written letters as requested.
Describe a time when you were helped by a member of NLIHC staff.
Joseph Lindstrom [NLIHC’s Senior Housing Advocacy Organizer] encourages and supports me every time we connect. He is positive, informative and strengthens my belief that affordable housing for those on extremely low incomes is possible!
What do you wish other people knew about NLIHC?
I wish people knew that they are not far away in DC. In fact, they are a clear ally of those all over the country who are working to expand the inventory of affordable housing for people with extremely low incomes.