We strive for a world where everyone has access to affordable, safe, and sustainable homes, free from systemic barriers based on discrimination. Our dedication to that core vision shows in the impact we have made on communities across the US in these key areas:
Secure healthy, stable, efficient homes so that all people have adequate resources for other essential needs.
Leverage affordable housing to reduce barriers so lower income people of all races and marginalized identities can flourish.
Create opportunities for all people to equitably benefit from the health, economic, and climate benefits of resilient and sustainable affordable homes.
Systemic racism has prevented many Black and Brown people in the US from achieving adequate and affordable housing. As a core value for our organization, NHT works to not just meet the immediate needs of these underserved communities but to also change the infrastructure that perpetuates inequality. NHT’s commitment to advancing racial equity permeates how we conduct ourselves as an organization, and the impacts we strive to achieve.
Protecting Housing Credit Properties
At NHT, we are leading a campaign to protect existing Housing Credit properties and their residents. Our work with 39 allocating agencies has resulted in policies that mitigate the loss of affordable housing stock and prevent these homes from falling into the hands of bad actors. These collaborations ultimately have led to more affordable and more stable housing options for low-income renters.
Addressing Food Insecurity
The COVID epidemic and inflation have led to a dramatic increase in food insecurity across all of our communities, and in particular the lack of healthy food options in the areas we serve. NHT and its partners addressed the food insecurity of the over 2000 residents, almost all of whom are Black and/or Latinx, in nine affordable rental housing communities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Half of these communities are in food deserts and all have experienced chronic food insecurity before, during, and after the pandemic. NHT established food pantries and distribution programs at all nine of its communities and in 2020, our properties absorbed nearly 10,000 lbs in food aid through a partnership with Capital Area Food Bank.
Transforming Complexity Into Opportunity
Our staff at NHT are experts on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. By comprehending its complexities and working closely with lawmakers and developers, we've successfully changed the program from one that prioritized new construction to one that preserves hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units across the nation. Recently, we've worked alongside an allocating agency to transform their Qualified Allocation Plan. These changes have included increasing positive resident outcomes, more accurately capturing community qualities, and boosting participation from minority-, women-, veteran-, and disabled veteran-owned businesses in over 2000 units each year.
Enabling Tenant Ownership
NHT is an innovator in leveraging financing enabling tenant associations to gain ownership of their homes. In 2022, Through our affiliate the Institute for Community Economics (ICE), NHT closed 15 loans to tenant associations seeking self-purchase through our TOPA Earnest Money Deposit Program that we run in partnership with City First Enterprises. This represents over $2.3 million in capital deployed and 390 households served across seven of DC’s Wards. In addition, through a combination of lending services and advocacy, NHT helped residents of the Leeland Apartments community within the range of the Purple Line transportation development avoid displacement and preserve naturally occurring affordable housing.
Since 2014, we have partnered with affordable housing owners across the country to develop, finance, and install 13MW of renewable energy projects. Our expertise in affordable housing and our proven track record in developing portfolio-level solar installations have generated $26.3M in property and resident savings for 11,800 low-income households.
Better Buildings Challenge
In 2023, NHT achieved its goals in the Better Buildings Challenge, hosted by HUD and DOE, where leading organizations committed to implementing sustainable practices in their property portfolios. NHT achieved its overall goal of reducing its overall energy intensity by 20 percent over 10 years. We are building on this commitment with the Better Climate Challenge.
Solar for All in DC
NHT, in partnership with Urban Ingenuity and DC Water (Washington DC's water department), recently completed work on repurposing land at the city's Brentwood Reservoir into the single largest solar installation in the District. This project will reduce energy costs for about 500 income-qualified residents over 15 years.
Bridging the Digital Divide
One of the barriers to opportunity within Black and Brown communities is adequate access to the internet and technology. NHT is working to bridge that gap. With support from funders, we installed free, high-speed internet in 193 households at our properties. The Truist Foundation also awarded funds to implement a Device Loan Program, which provides residents access to short-term laptop loans from NHT's lending library. The Device Loan Program is absolutely free and residents can volunteer in community programs to earn laptop ownership. With unlimited access to these devices, residents can expand their knowledge through online digital literacy training and participate more fully in the digital world.
Equity in the Workplace
NHT has made a commitment to integrating a racial equity focus and strategy into our organizational structure and long-term strategic plan. We want to establish NHT as a pioneer in racial equity and antiracism among those who work in the housing industry, including advocates, developers, and policy experts. We also want to proactively make connections between systemic racism, access to affordable housing, and workplace issues. The racial, cultural, and life experiences of the communities we serve will be better represented by the NHT Staff and Board. NHT will actively seek out and keep employees of color and those who share our commitment to racial fairness. The distribution of resources, including funding, human capital, and programming, will demonstrate a dedication to racial equity.