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PLACE and Network Advocacy

The Network encourages members to explore PLACE Membership to further housing concerns in DC. PLACE is a new nonprofit that aims to unify the voices of housing and community development practitioners. They count a large number of CLTs and CDCs as members and the Network has partnered with them on advocacy as well as serving on their advisory committee.

What Is PLACE?
PLACE (Practitioners Leveraging Assets for Community Enhancement) is a new nonprofit that provides a single unified voice for housing and community development practitioners. Too often our voices are not heard or not unified to effect change in federal public policies and programs. PLACE aims to overcome this problem.

Who is PLACE?
PLACE members and the board of directors are comprised solely of practitioners. Presently, PLACE has roughly 158 members located in 40 states, including a large number of CLTs and CDCs as well as Habitat for Humanity, NeighborWorks America, and Urban League affiliates.

PLACE maintains an Advisory Council of policy experts from national organizations, including the National Community Land Trust Network, LISC, Enterprise, National Council of LA Raza, National Urban League, Habitat for Humanity International, Housing Assistance Council, and National NeighborWorks Association. The Advisory Council helps PLACE to track pressing policy and regulatory issues that affect housing and community development practitioners across the field.

What Has PLACE and the Network Accomplished Recently?

PLACE Board and Advisory Council members met with 17 members of Congress on June 2-5, 2014. The meetings predominantly targeted Senators influencing rural and housing appropriations as well as housing finance reform. We communicated the following:

  1. As the Senate Appropriations conducts their mark-up on the FY15 budget, they should not cut any additional funds allocated to CDBG, HOME, or USDA housing programs (and keep SHOP separate from the HOME program).
  2. Congress should continue to advance housing finance reform and promote funding for affordable housing programs and equitable access to financing.
  3. Congress should urge the new Secretary of HUD to minimize administrative and regulatory challenges for PLACE members.
  4. Congress should please turn to PLACE and its members for information and guidance on the effect of housing and community development policies and regulations on practitioners in the future.

At the beginning of the 2014, PLACE also wrote a letter to HUD Secretary Sean Donavan and OMB secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell requesting their continued work toward a restoration of HOME and CDBG funding to 2011 levels.

Why Should You Join PLACE?
As PLACE continues to develop, members should expect to receive:

  • Calls to Action letting you know when to take action on public policies that significantly impact your work.
  • A “Clearinghouse” website, providing you with timely calls to action, up-to-date policy information on issues affecting your work, information on national conferences relevant to your work
  • Talking Points, Stats, and Stories for advocacy connecting the field’s work with the impact of affordable housing and commercial development on families, communities, and the economy.
  • Opportunities to advocate, recruiting you to share your stories and needs with elected officials and government leaders.

Interested in joining PLACE? Contact Jonathan Cappelli: jcappelli@urbanlandc.org

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