Housing Policy Director – Job Description

Compensation:  $55,000 to $60,000 Annually Benefits Offered:  401K, Dental, Medical, Vision Employment Type:  Full-Time Reports to:  Executive Director FLSA Status:  Exempt Prepared Date:  July 26, 2021 Click HERE to Apply.   POSITION SUMMARY: The Housing Policy Director will lobby in Congress on housing issues, develop policy positions, and work with housing counseling agencies and housing advocates. This job is a high-impact position with national significance, which will require resourcefulness and initiative. The National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) is an advocacy organization, providing leadership for the nonprofit housing counseling community and the clients they serve. NHRC brings together the many parts of the housing counseling community to be an effective advocacy voice in policymaking and program design. Housing counseling agencies are working to increase homeownership, prevent foreclosures, and assist underserved communities. Employees will impact and develop national housing policy, working with Congress, HUD, Treasury, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and leading housing advocates. The Housing Policy Director is an exempt position. Exempt employees are expected to work the appropriate and necessary time to complete key assignments and related tasks on schedule.   ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Develop policy positions for NHRC which represent the interests of the Hnonprofit housing counseling community and the people they serve Work with local agencies, state networks, and national organizations to identify issues and develop consensus positions on policy issues Write policy briefs and position papers for use by policymakers and member organizations Communicate with Congressional offices on policy issues Convene and participate in conference calls and meetings on policy issues Provide appropriate content for the NHRC website, listserve, and all other NHRC outlets Represent NHRC at public meetings, conference calls, and electronic discussion forums Develop the reputation of housing counseling [...]

We Need Your Help

Your support is NEEDED! Chairwoman Maxine Waters, head of the House Financial Services Committee, is asking for endorsers for her three major housing bills.  Please consider if your organization wants to provide an endorsement for each of these significant bills.  A strong showing by the housing counseling community is helpful.  Our deadline is 2:00pm EST on July 16, 2021. Downpayment Towards Equity:  This is a $10 billion commitment to First Time Homebuyer and First Generation homebuyers.  Grants of up to $20,000 and for socially and economically disadvantaged an extra $5,000.  Housing counseling is required for most of the grants.  This is the bill we have been working on and a major goal of the Black Homeownership Collaborative.  Your agency endorsement can be entered here. Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2021:  This bill provides significant funding for a mix of federal affordable construction, rehabilitation, and preservation programs, including additional CDBG funding for localities.  It also creates a national infrastructure bank. A summary of the bill is here.  Your agency endorsement can be entered here. The Endling Homelessness Act of 2021:  This bill phases in a universal Section 8 rental voucher program, which would mean that every low-income people person that needed it would get a subsidized, affordable rent (currently on a quarter do).  A summary of the ambitious bill is here.  Your agency endorsement for this bill can be entered here. Email me if there are questions.  Thanks in advance for all your help.   -Bruce   Bruce Dorpalen National Housing Resource Center bdorpalen@hsgcenter.org (267) 773-7210

NHRC Big News!

On July 1, 2021, Ellie Pepper was promoted as the Deputy Director of the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC). Ellie has been working for 30 years on issues related to disenfranchised communities and affordable housing.  At NHRC, Ellie has enthusiastically jumped into our work developing our outreach programs to reach underserved homebuyers and homeowners, convened our Leaders in Housing Counseling calls, guided many conversations for protecting first-time homebuyers in today’s market, crafted COVID-19 resilience strategies, monitored and publicized the effectiveness of mortgage forbearance, and much more.  Ellie has worked with many of you to bring your experiences and your concerns forward. Join us in congratulating Ellie on a job well done!  We look forward to all of the amazing work you will do in the days to come!  

Prioritizing First Time Homebuyers

As we look forward to recognizing National Homeownership Month this year (June 2021), we cannot ignore the issues that plague potential first-time homebuyers across the country. First-time homebuyers of modest means who need a mortgage to purchase a home face stiff competition from cash buyers and well-funded investors in the current market and are being blocked from achieving homeownership in many ways.   The National Association of Realtors reported in April 2021 that 25% of all home sales were all-cash deals, which has increased from 15% reported in 2020. Investors and cash buyers are pushing consumers with a modest income and owner-occupant buyers out of the market.  This disproportionately impacts buyers of color and first-time homebuyers. By purchasing moderately priced homes through all-cash deals, buyers are artificially inflating the real estate market and aiding in gentrification in many neighborhoods across the country.  Investors are also turning owner-occupied single-family homes into non-owner-occupied rentals which diminish the sense of community many first-time homebuyers look for when seeking their dream home.  These issues are hitting all over the U.S. in both rural and urban areas. Housing counselors and advocates for affordable housing began raising the alarm about this issue in early 2020.  Real estate agents were telling homebuyers to waive property inspections and even appraisal contingencies to be competitive.  Buyers were told that cash offers with quick turnaround were beating out their offers (sometimes even for lower amounts).  Private equity companies were bidding up single-family home prices to switch homes to long-term rentals – fueled by Wall Street investors. On behalf of American for Financial Reform, National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) convened a working group that identified five specific areas to address: Incentives for selling to first-time buyers/owner-occupants Amassing [...]

The Black Homeownership Collaborative Plan for Three Million New Black Households by 2030

Black homeownership has plummeted since the Great Recession.   Systemic racism, equity stripping, and a significant loss of affordable housing are just a few reasons for this declination in Black homeowners throughout the US.   The National Housing Resource Center has joined with the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Fair Housing Alliance many other organizations working collaboratively through the Black Homeownership Collaborative to ensure that there are 3 million new Black homeowners by the year 2030.  To do this, a 7-point plan has been devised that will address several key areas that have caused Black homeownership to continually plummet since the end of the Great Recession. Over one hundred housing leaders that span the political spectrum in areas of housing advocacy and industry recommend seven “tangible, actionable, and scalable” steps that will aid in addressing the gap in housing disparities between Black and white homeowners.  As this is just the beginning in bringing Black homeownership to “levels never previously attained”, they are assured that these steps will lead to new strategies as this plan unfolds. The National Housing Resource Center (NHRC), HomeFree-USA, and NeighborWorks America co-chaired the Downpayment Assistance and the Housing Counseling Workstreams.   To read this plan in detail, click here. Homeownership Counseling – Providing homeownership counseling helps to close the gap in many of these areas by getting much-needed information to would be Black homebuyers.  The plan calls for sustained funding for housing counseling and strategies to get homebuyers and homeowners to housing counseling programs early in the process. Downpayment Assistance – Discriminatory housing policies and growing racial wealth gaps play a major role in many Black and Brown families not having much needed resources to save for [...]

Proposal for the New Covid-19 Housing Counseling Funding Program

National Housing Resource Center was instrumental in ensuring that the Biden Administration include funding for housing counseling in the American Rescue Plan Act.  We are incredibly happy that $100 million was added because of our advocacy and that the funds were designated to flow through NeighborWorks America as was done with the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program during the financial crisis.  While the NFMC program was incredibly helpful and made it possible for housing counseling agencies to build capacity and meet the needs of consumers, there were lessons housing counselors learned which could strengthen new programs.  We convened a working group of thirty-eight (38) housing counseling leaders to discuss best practices from the NFMC program and review what needed to be done differently.  As a result, we were able to submit a comprehensive list of proposals to NeighborWorks America for the design of the Covid-19 Housing Counseling Funding.  The full list of proposals can be found here.   Below are a few key highlights. A program can only be properly distributed with adequate administration. This is also true with distributing housing counseling services to any community. The working group believes that there should be adequate support for administrative costs to both subgrantees and intermediaries. NeighborWorks America should prioritize direct funding to agencies for the services they provide over funding for program research and staff training for the first $100 million. We strongly support analytic reviews of the work and staff training but suggest that funding for this comes from later COVID 19 funding.  Agencies need funding now to expand capacity and deliver services to consumers in need. The working group recognized that smaller agencies would receive lower funding allocations even though their capacity building may [...]

Housing Counselors – Creating Rental Counseling Capacity to Save the Day

The impact of COVID-19 has reached many across our nation in various ways.  As we are entering the second year of this pandemic, many Americans are faced with the possibility of homelessness. The loss of jobs and reduction of hours available to work makes it impossible to meet the demands of paying rent.  This has a domino effect. Landlords also fall into this downward spiral as rent not only helps them to maintain their properties but also provides the capital needed to pay their mortgage and provide for their own families. There have been $300 billion in emergency funds given to various housing programs to provide “direct rental assistance” to those in need in hopes of preventing eviction.  Within these agencies, Housing Counselors have been identified as a much-needed resource in disseminating these funds.  Typically, housing counselors assist homeowners who faced foreclosure and future homeowners in the home buying process.  Since COVID-19, housing counselors have had to include tenant assistance in their work. Although housing counselors are a needed resource in connecting renters with the help required to prevent eviction, there are not enough funds available to assist groups to hire and train new counselors to help meet the growing need. The question now becomes, “how do we as a nation create the capacity to help more Americans get the help they need.”  This week, The Urban Institute (Urban), a research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities, published a brief entitled "Housing Counseling to Support Renters in Crisis." In this brief, Urban reached out to 18 leaders from several housing counseling agencies and the National Housing Resource Center and asked the following questions: How has housing counseling adapted [...]

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