Our Favorite Accomplishments of 2012

We emailed our supporters last week to do a little bragging about what we’ve been up to this year. This has been such a busy year for the National Low Income Housing Coalition that we couldn’t fit all our work into one email! Instead, we thought we’d share some of our staff’s other favorite 2012 accomplishments here on our blog.

National Housing Preservation Database

Project-based housing is a crucial part of our national strategy to prevent and end homelessness. But some of this housing is at risk of leaving the affordable inventory for a variety of reasons. Preserving this housing is good policy; it is a cost-effective way to invest in our communities.

The National Housing Preservation Database is a powerful new tool for preserving America’s affordable rental housing. The database provides communities with the information they need to effectively preserve their stock of public and assisted housing. It is part of NLIHC’s longstanding, data-driven effort help preserve this vital supply of affordable rental homes.

State Housing Profiles

We’ve always provided housing advocates with Congressional district-level information on the housing need in their communities. This year, NLIHC launched our State Housing Profiles, which provide key information about the housing available to extremely low income people, and the need for that housing, in each state. This information is perfect to use when advocating with your Senators, as well as with state legislators and your governor.

2011 Annual Report

Our 2011 annual report, Dedication, tells the story of NLIHC’s dedication to leadership, empowerment, analysis, and collaboration, and to our members and other supporters, using the new color scheme, logo and icons developed in concert with our new website.

Renters in Foreclosure: A Fresh Look at an Ongoing Problem

In 2009 NLIHC worked to help enact the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), a law to ensure that renters in foreclosure have the right to at least 90 days’ notice before having to move after a foreclosure. Currently, the law is set to expire at the end of 2014 unless Congress takes further action. Our new research shows that the number of renters impacted by the foreclosure crisis has grown over the last three years, and if the law expires, these renters will be once again vulnerable to eviction with minimal notice. As such NLIHC has worked this year to line up support for efforts in the House and Senate that would make the PTFA a permanent and stronger law.

We’ve worked hard this year to advance socially just housing policy that assures the lowest income Americans have access to affordable and decent homes. If you agree that these accomplishments are important and if you value our work, please make a year-end donation to the National Low Income Housing Coalition so that we can continue to be strong advocates for the housing needs of low income people in 2013.

New Affordable Housing Preservation Tool Empowers Advocates to Save Housing

Have you ever wanted to get a list of all of the federally assisted multifamily properties in your community, but couldn’t find one that was truly comprehensive? Have you ever wished you could see if a property had more than one subsidy attached to it, but didn’t want to have to go to multiple datasets to do it? Do you want to be able to see which affordable properties in your community have upcoming contract expiration dates so you can focus your efforts on ensuring those properties remain affordable? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then you will be happy to hear that a new tool is now available that will allow you to do all of the above and much more!

The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level database of all federally subsidized multifamily properties in the country. It includes information on properties with the following types of assistance:

This database contains the most comprehensive information about the location and status of over 70,000 properties and 3.5 million units.

We encourage you to take some time to explore this brand new resource. There is a “Preservation Tool” that allows you to search for specific types of properties in the geography of your choice, and there is a “Research Tool” that allows you to download the entire dataset. A detailed User Guide provides more information on how to use each of these tools. You can also view a map of all of the federally subsidized properties in your community on this website.

Affordable housing advocates know how vital the existing stock of project-based housing is to low income households in this country and have been waiting for a tool like this that might assist them in their efforts to identify and preserve this housing. Many cities and states have created similar databases for their locality and local governments, tenant organizers, nonprofit developers and others have used these databases to preserve affordable housing in those communities. Now, it is possible for people all over the country to create similar databases and coalitions.

If you are interested in creating a local database that includes properties with state and local subsidies from this larger database, feel free to contact Megan Bolton, Research Director at NLIHC at megan@nlihc.org.

Let us know what you think of the database and the mapping tool, and share with us how you might use this information to preserve affordable housing in your community. Let’s talk preservation in the comments!