NLIHC Field Team: What We Do

The NLIHC Field Team interacts with members of the Coalition and the general public (collectively known as “the field”). Broadly speaking, the Field Team works with the field to weigh in on housing policy issues. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Field Team collaborates extensively with both the Policy and Communications Teams at NLIHC.

As a coalition that represents the housing interests of the lowest income Americans, NLIHC’s greatest strength is our network. We work with people across the country to leverage our collective power as citizens. The more people who are involved in advocating, the greater influence we have in shaping housing policy to benefit the lowest income Americans.

One of the most important ways we engage people in housing advocacy work is through membership. The Field Team communicates directly with all of our members on a regular basis. When it’s time to mobilize the field, our members are some of the most active and well-informed housing advocates in the country.

Our members represent a diverse coalition of individuals and organizations, which ensures that all stakeholders are represented in our advocacy. Low income renters comprise a significant portion of our individual membership. Our organizational members include: direct service organizations, tenant groups, advocacy organizations, low income housing developers, government agencies, and small businesses. Chief among our members are our State Partners, who serve as the main point of contact for advocacy in their given states.

Through their membership dues, our members are also an essential part of how we maintain a high degree of financial independence. It is this independence that has allowed us to maintain an unwavering focus on the housing needs of the lowest income Americans for 40 years. Because of our members’ central importance to this mission, the Field Team takes great care to meet our members’ needs.

Ultimately, the Field Team has a broad range of responsibilities, from taking care of membership logistics to communicating with and mobilizing our field on critical housing issues. To learn more about the Field Team, you can contact the Housing Advocacy Organizer for your state.

Membership Monday: Meet Our Field Team

NLIHC has a Field Team with different Housing Advocacy Organizers assigned to specific states. The Housing Advocacy Organizers are our members’ direct points of contact for answers to federal policy or membership questions. Members also hear from the Field Team when there is a federal housing issue that needs attention. Reach out to your state’s Field Team member to learn more about joining NLIHC, or if you are an active member, about how you can get more involved!

If you live in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, or Virginia, contact…

Dan Emmanuel | dan@nlihc.org or 202-662-1530 x316
Dan Emmanuel joined the NLIHC staff in November 2013. Dan completed his Master of Social Work degree from Saint Louis University in May 2013 with a concentration in community and organization practice. Since 2008, he has worked in a wide range of housing and community development contexts, including work at Saint Louis University’s Doerr Center for Social Justice and Community Housing Partners in Williamsburg, Virginia. Dan earned his B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from the College of William & Mary.

If you live in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, or West Virginia, contact…

Mary Kolar | mary@nlihc.org or 202-662-1530 x233
Mary joined the NLIHC staff in January 2011. Originally from the Washington, DC area, she graduated from Fordham University, after which she spent time with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Following this experience, she worked for several years as an organizer for the New York City-based Tenants & Neighbors, an NLIHC partner. There, she focused on tenant issues in project-based Section 8 developments. Most recently, Mary worked with a grassroots community-based organization in Arlington, Virginia.

If you live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, or Wyoming, contact…

Joseph Lindstrom | joseph@nlihc.org or 202-662-1530 x222
Joseph joined the NLIHC staff in February 2013, but he first worked with NLIHC in 2000 while organizing Wisconsin advocates in support of the National Housing Trust Fund campaign. He led campaigns in Madison, WI, on issues such as the local minimum wage, funding for homeless services, and eliminating housing discrimination against Housing Choice Voucher recipients. In addition to his advocacy and campaign work, Joseph has also worked in various direct service capacities including as a homeless outreach coordinator, tenant’s rights counselor, and workforce development professional. Joseph received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin with majors in political science and religious studies.

Check back on Wednesday for a post by the Field Team!

Membership Monday: NLIHC Publications for Every Type of Advocate!

Over the past 40 years, NLIHC’s robust network of organizational and individual members has sustained our efforts not just through financial support, but by building our far reaching advocacy base. We are proud that our growing field of members reflects the broad range of advocates working on housing issues in communities across the country. NLIHC produces a wide range of publications to serve the advocacy needs of our diverse and dedicated members. There are so many reasons to become a member of NLIHC, and one of them is the early access to our publications at free or discounted rates!

For everyone from the beginner advocate to the expert in need of quickly looking up information, there is the go-to Advocates’ Guide to Housing and Community Development Programs.

The Advocates’ Guide includes the history and summary of key housing issues and programs, forecasts for 2014, tips for local success, what to say to legislators, and much more! Members can learn about every major housing and community development topic from Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing to the newly updated Voterization tools. The Advocates’ Guide helps equip NLIHC members with the resources you need to be effective advocates at home in your communities and on the national level.

New member: FREE!
Discounted member rate: $25 (+ shipping)

For the policy tracker, there is no better source for current housing news than Memo to Members.

NLIHC members receive Memo to Members directly in their inbox or mailbox every Monday. Our acclaimed weekly newsletter keeps advocates up to date on the latest federal housing policy, research, and other news such as public webinars and reports from our field.

New and current members: FREE!

For members of low income renter communities, Tenant Talk is made specifically to be shared with your friends, family, and neighbors!

This quarterly newsletter is for tenants, residents, and other low income renters. Created to engage low income people in housing advocacy, Tenant Talk connects with residents on the housing policy issues affecting their lives such as source of income discrimination, voterization, and protecting tenants at foreclosure.

New and current members: FREE!

For the state and local advocates, our annual flagship report Out of Reach provides powerful data on the affordable housing crisis.

Out of Reach reveals a key indicator: the Housing Wage, which is the wage one must earn in order to afford a modest rental home in communities across the country. Advocates can use this information to show Members of Congress, state legislators, and local elected officials the great need for affordable housing and its impact on the daily lives of their constituents.

Discounted member rate: $10 for the abridged version with state-specific data; $25 for the full report (+ shipping)

Join NLIHC today at www.nlihc.org/membership! Please contact our Field Team at outreach@nlihc.org with questions or comments. To order a publication, please email creyes@nlihc.org.

And stay tuned to the blog this summer to learn more about these and other publications in upcoming Project Spotlights!

Dedication

What comes to mind when you think of 2011? Do you picture your children’s milestones, a major career move, a family celebration? Does it remind you of financial struggles, a lost job, a difficult choice your family had to make?

In our annual report, we look back on 2011 and see a year when housing advocates were put to the test. As our President & CEO, Sheila Crowley, writes in her introduction to the report,

Simply put, 2011 was the most challenging year imaginable for those who advocate for housing affordable to low income people. The House of Representatives had new members who at best needed significant education about affordable housing…. Simultaneously, the rental market was tightening, unemployment remained stubbornly high, and it was harder than ever for extremely low income people to afford a decent place to live.

Our 2011 annual report, titled Dedication, tells the story of 2011 for NLIHC. Our dedication to leadership, empowerment, analysis and collaboration drove us to work harder and smarter to meet the challenges the year brought us. We adapted to the changed political climate, defended effective, longstanding housing programs and fought harder than ever to secure funding for the National Housing Trust Fund.

As hard as it got in 2011, we knew we could count on our members and donors to take action when called on and step up with financial support when we asked. It’s your dedication to socially just housing policy that energizes and inspires us. Our annual report is dedicated to you.

Meet Our Interns: Becca Larew

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is fortunate to have great interns every semester and summer. Over the next several weeks, each of our summer interns will share their experiences at the Coalition with you. Think interning with the Coalition might be for you? Learn more here!

Like many soon-to-be graduates, the months before my college graduation were filled with trying to figure out what to do next.  Most of my classmates decided to go straight to graduate school, but I wanted to learn more about life outside of the university setting first.  As part of my social work degree, I completed a practicum with United Action for Youth in Iowa City, an agency that works with pregnant or parenting teens and homeless youth. During my time there, I gained an insider’s perspective on different social programs, especially Section 8 housing, where many of our youth and their families lived. By working with them, I learned about the stigma attached to using housing vouchers in Iowa City and the complications renters faced because of landlords refusing to accept their vouchers.

When researching internship opportunities, I was looking for ways to gain experience in macro-level social work and advocacy. I also wanted the opportunity to move away from Iowa and go outside my comfort zone. When I came across NLIHC’s internship description on idealist.org, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to learn about advocating for socially just policies and to organize people around housing issues. After talking with Outreach Associate Mary Kolar about the outreach position and how involved interns are in the everyday activities of NLIHC, I was excited for my big move and to start working.

As one of two outreach interns, I was able to learn about NLIHC’s membership and why members are so important. Joining NLIHC is like becoming a member in an active community that works together to make life better for people struggling with different housing issues. Members have the opportunity to stay informed and take action on different policies that affect either themselves personally or someone they know. While interning I was able to talk to members either on the phone or when attending conferences and learned how becoming a member of NLIHC impacted them. Also I was able to do several other projects while interning including analyzing membership demographics, directly assisting people with housing problems and verifying member’s congressional districts.

As my internship with NLIHC comes to a close, I am again faced with answering the question, “what’s next?” After a brief trip back to Iowa to see friends and family and a backpacking trip through Central America, I will be returning to the East Coast to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Crittenton Services of Greater Washington. I know I will use my experience and newly acquired skill set that I gained from NLIHC in all my future endeavors. My advice to prospective interns would be to apply for any internship NLIHC offers because you will gain a wealth of knowledge of different housing issues and be welcomed and appreciated by the staff.