December: Affordable Housing

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For those who gaze at the sky at night instead of a ceiling or sleep on a pavement instead of a bed, housing, much less affordable housing, holds little meaning. The basic human need for shelter is often unattainable for those at the mercy of the elements, job layoffs, economic downturns, overcrowded projects. Affordable housing seeks to address—by means, medians and projections—how to determine eligibility of those who seek a place to live. But data cannot compute what needs to be done; it is right before our very eyes.

Panelists: Christie Adamson, Sister Barbara Busch, SC & Brendalee Connors – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

ACTION ITEMS
  1. Contact your local representatives and advocate for better investments into the local housing trust fund.
  2. Ask your elected officials to provide down payment assistance for first time home buyers.
  3. Contact your senators and ask them to vote for the Build Back Better Act.
RESOURCES

Build Back Better Act
https://enterprisecommunity.org
Last month, the House Rules Committee released amended text for the Build Back Better Act. In addition to the $150 billion in proposed housing investments that were part of the draft released on October 28, the legislation now contains a number of Enterprise’s key tax priorities, namely the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit. 

National Low Income Housing Coalition
https://nlihc.org
The Legislative Action Center provides information and tools for advocates to stay up-to-date and take action on federal affordable housing solutions before Congress. You will find the most urgent priorities for Congress at the top of this page followed by other bills supported by NLIHC. Each issue area (in blue) expands to provide relevant bills, a brief summary, factsheets and talking points, and a TAKE ACTION button. Each TAKE ACTION button will direct you to an email template and portal to contact your members of Congress about that particular legislation.


Meet Our Panelists

Christie Adamson
Case Manager, Educator

Christie Adamson has been working in homeless services for more than a decade in roles spanning from case management and street outreach to providing educational opportunities to the public about homelessness. She currently is the assistant director at Humility Homes and Services, Inc. in Davenport, Iowa, where she is responsible for the quality and management of nine homeless service programs serving several counties in Illinois and Iowa.

A graduate of Augustana College, Christie has received specialized training from OrgCode Consulting, a national leader in ending homelessness, and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, a national leader in permanent supportive housing. She believes homelessness is a reversible circumstance, and her goal is to end homelessness in the greater Quad Cities area.

 Christie lives in Rock Island, Illinois, with her husband, Patrick, and daughter, Claire.


Sister Barbara Busch, SC
Housing Champion

Sister of Charity, Barbara Busch has worked for more than 40 years to help low- and moderate-income Cincinnati residents shape their communities. She founded and currently is executive director of Working In Neighborhoods (WIN), a non-profit community revitalization organization. Through her leadership, WIN developed the WIN Economic Learning Campus in the heart of the South Cumminsville neighborhood in Cincinnati.

Sister Barbara has provided leadership training for grassroots neighbors to be able to speak with politicians, bank presidents and banking regulators to tell their story and present the needs of their communities. Since she founded WIN in 1978, the organization has built or rehabilitated and sold 168 homes to first-time homeowners; developed relationships with local and national lenders that have led to homeownership for more than 7,000 low-income families; and saved more than 1,500 families from foreclosure.

Brendalee Connors
Housing Developer and Manager

Brendalee Connors, an associate of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the Chief Real Estate Officer of Metro West Housing Solutions (MWHS), where she has worked for 14 years. MWHS is an organization dedicated to providing affordable rental homes in Lakewood, Colorado. With 20+ years of experience in affordable housing, she brings valuable insight and expertise to managing the MWHS real estate portfolio, including housing development, compliance and asset management

A big-picture thinker, Brenda was instrumental in transitioning MWHS into providing property management at all its developments. Her passion and dedication for public service has defined her rich career that includes nonprofit, for-profit and governmental housing roles prior to joining MWHS.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Iowa State University, a Master of Pastoral Studies from Loyola University of New Orleans, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado—Denver. She holds a Housing Development Finance Professional designation from the National Development Council, a Certified Housing Asset Management designation from the Consortium for Housing and Asset Management and is a licensed Colorado real estate broker. She is a member of the Strategic Housing Working Group of the Colorado Division of Housing and a frequent speaker at local and national housing conferences.

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