Staff members from Habitat
for Humanity of Greater Memphis traveled to Washington, D.C., Feb. 11-13 to
join more than 200 Habitat for Humanity leaders and supporters for the eighth
annual Habitat on the Hill legislative conference and day of action to urge
lawmakers to back policies and programs that help Habitat address the issue of
substandard and poverty housing.
During the event, attendees heard
from experts, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Shaun Donovan, on affordable housing and its future; participated in
workshops to bolster local and organization-wide advocacy efforts; and met with
legislative representatives to champion programs and policies that help thousands of low-income families gain access to affordable
and safe homes every year.
“The opportunity to gather for three days in
Washington, D.C. to focus on affordable housing and the impact that programs
such as SHOP, HOME, the Weatherization Assistance Program, AmeriCorps and
Community Development Block Grants have on Habitat’s ability to serve families
nationwide is essential,” said Liz Blake, senior vice president of advocacy,
government affairs and general counsel at Habitat for Humanity International.
"With the future of funding so uncertain, we must meet with our
representatives and be the voice of Habitat on policy issues that are critical
to the communities we serve.”
Memphis Habitat Executive
Director Dwayne Spencer; Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships
Julie Romine; Director of Marketing and Communications Jessica Hord; and
Partnership Manager Mary Claire Borys attended the conference.
“Habitat on the Hill
provides local affiliates the opportunity to learn from policy makers and
administrators, such as Secretary Donavan, and also allows us to bring local
work and impact to the attention of those on Capitol Hill,” Romine said. “It is
so important to be able to sit down face-to-face with legislative staff and
share the stories of the families we serve, their needs and how national
policies can affect our ability to address those needs. Our hope is that through
our advocacy efforts federal, state and local leaders will better understand
the need for affordable housing and critical home repairs.”
In addition to Secretary Donovan, speakers
at the conference included Charlie Cook, editor
and publisher of The Cook Political Report and columnist for The
National Journal; and Jonathan
Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.
To learn more about Habitat on the
Hill or for more information on Habitat for Humanity’s advocacy initiatives,
please visit www.habitat.org/gov.
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