MultiHousing News, December 16, 2020 How Affordable Housing Can Work Towards Inclusion (continued)
Specifically, when identifying a project, developers can put forward a Request for Proposals and share with networks that promote women and minority-owned businesses. Take time to build these partnerships and plan ahead to select from a well-diversified candidate pool. ENCOURAGE AND CHALLENGE PLANNERS/POLICYMAKERS The outcome of the recent APA NY Metro Chapter Conference led to this takeaway: we must apply a global, antiracist and decolonizing lens in our work to address the profession’s racially disproportionate environmental and health impacts and make affordable housing truly inclusive. We should also work closely with community leaders and stakeholders through strong engagement that embraces transparency and open communication to further understand current as well as future needs. The “savior” perspective and/or approach imbedded in the field needs to be eradicated and replaced with an inclusive and holistic one. We are planning for cultural, societal shifts that emulate what author and activist Verna Myers means when she says, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”
events that demonstrate positive project progress. We also create case studies with meaningful results, e.g., how “green” efforts save on property expenses or how property rehabilitation can help reduce community crime. Communications efforts also include regular social media postings, a quarterly newsletter, and sharing of editorials and op-eds. NHPF also takes pride in presenting annual symposia on relevant topics as well as securing speaking appearances and awards for the organization and its leaders. The goal of all marketing efforts here is to help move current investors to do more and “not yet investors” to jump on the affordable housing bandwagon.
BUILD PARTNER AND VENDOR TEAMS THROUGH CONSCIOUS, DIVERSE CHOICES
It took years and years to create business conditions that ensured the inclusion of women and minorities in the housing construction process. Today though, enlightened developers can throw away those antiquated notions of inclusion because you “have to” and embrace thoroughly qualified, talented individuals and companies doing great work that can distinguish and elevate any developer’s project and align much better with resident needs.
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