NLIHC’s Advocacy Guide for the Election Season

nlihc-2016_issues-guideOver the next few months, affordable housing and community development organizations have an opportunity to influence a number of critical issues before Congress and to help break through the noise of the Presidential campaigns to make affordable housing an election issue.

This summer and fall, Congress will be in their home districts and states between August 1 and September 6 and again between October 10 and November 11.

To help advocates make full use of this time, NLIHC has created a Summer/Fall 2016 Advocacy Guide, outlining the five key ways organizations can take action between now and the November elections to advocate for the issues that are most important to their mission, the people they serve, and their community.

The Advocacy Guide covers ways organizations can help:

  • Increase federal spending on key federal housing programs;
  • Expand and improve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit;
  • Ensure that housing needs are addressed in criminal justice reform;
  • Support the Make Room campaign—an initiative to demand that Congress make affordable housing a top priority; and
  • Use NLIHC Voterization resources to engage voters and candidates.

For more information and best practices on how nonprofit organizations and individuals can lobby their elected officials, see Lobbying: Individual and 501(c)(3) Organizations in NLIHC’s 2016 Advocates’ Guide.

Together, these resources can help advocates make their voices heard and build strong relationships with their Members of Congress.

NLIHC Fall Webinars Engage Residents and Advocates

Update: These webinars have passed, but slides and other materials are available. Download the materials from the Engaging Residents in Voter Activities webinar from this page. Download materials from the webinar on the Rental Assistance Demonstration from this page.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has two great webinars coming up next week that will provide important information for residents, tenants, and low income housing advocates.

The first webinar, on Monday, September 17 at 4 pm ET, “Engaging Low Income Residents in Voter Activities,” features three panelists who will help nonprofit organizations, resident groups and resident leaders learn how to register, educate and mobilize low income voters for the November 6 election and beyond.

As discussed in the Winter 2011 issue of Tenant Talk voter turnout among traditionally underrepresented voters- minorities, renters and young people- increased in the 2008 presidential election, but there is still room for improvement. Register for our webinar and learn how to help drive voter turnout and strengthen American democracy.

The second webinar, on Tuesday, September 18 at 4 pm ET, is called “Rental Assistance Demonstration: What Residents and Advocates Need to Know Now.” The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) will allow a limited number of public housing agencies (PHAs) to apply to convert public housing units to long-term Project-Based Section 8 units. Public housing residents and advocates can- and should- engage with PHAs to ensure the best possible outcomes from RAD. This webinar will feature guest speakers from HUD, who will explain how RAD will work. NLIHC’s own Ed Gramlich will explain why it’s so important for residents to be part of the RAD application process, and lay out simple steps to get involved. We encourage all public housing residents, resident group members and leaders, and interested advocates to register for this webinar.

We’re strong believers in the need for constituent advocates to hold leaders accountable for meeting the housing needs of low income people. Webinars like these are one way we empower advocacy. If you’ve got an idea for a webinar, let us know in the comments.