Policy Approach

CNHED’s member organizations work to ensure that residents with low and moderate incomes have housing and economic opportunities in neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia in a variety of ways.  CNHED supports the work of its members by advocating for the policies that make it possible.

Housing and Economic Development

CNHED has a vision for the District of Columbia to be a model for housing affordability and inclusive economic development that is supported by public and private resources. CNHED was formed as the result of the merger of two organizations, the Coalition of Nonprofit Housing Developers and Coalition of Economic Development Organizations, because of the notable overlap in membership. Affordable housing is a critical piece of inclusive economic development, and inclusive economic development makes affordable housing projects and the neighborhoods in which they are located stable and successful. CNHED focuses its activities through this lens – the CNHED Board has a Housing Committee and Economic Development Committee under which all of its policy working groups operate. If you wish to receive updates and meeting invitations from the CNHED Housing Committee or Economic Development Committee, you can sign up here.

Preventing Homelessness

CNHED believes that all District residents should have safe, decent homes that are affordable to them. In the pursuit of that goal, CNHED and its Supportive Housing Working Group have participated in the Interagency Council on Homelessness, Homeless No More Plan, development of a Request for Proposals process that reaches across agencies to consolidate funding applications for supportive housing, and the creation of the Local Rent Supplement Program. CNHED and its Supportive Housing Working Group have also put forth policy papers such as Permanent Supportive Housing: A Cost-Effective Alternative in the District of Columbia and Recommendation for Inclusion of Permanent Supportive Housing in all Publicly Supported Large Scale Development Projects. CNHED also advocates for programs that keep extremely low income households in their homes such as the Local Rent Supplement Program and Housing First. If you’d like to get involved in this work, please  sign up to join the Supportive Housing Working Group.

Supporting Small Businesses

CNHED and its Economic Development Committee have been the leading advocates for funding of the Small Business Technical Assistance Program. Economic Development Committee members, both through the Small Business Technical Assistance Program and through their other work, provide technical assistance, support, and training to small businesses in DC and work with groups of small businesses to provide business attraction and retention and collective business support services. Members also work closely with the Department of Housing and Community Development, Department of Small and Local Business Development, other DC government agencies, and each other to make sure that small businesses have the right kinds of support for their needs. They increase the number of successful new small businesses by conducting market studies, helping aspiring entrepreneurs to write business plans and providing microloans, among other services. They also help sustain existing small businesses by assisting them in rebranding, exterior and interior modifications, advertising, and more. If you’d like to be involved in CNHED’s work supporting small businesses, or to help expand the agenda, please sign up to join the Economic Development Committee.

Preserving Affordable Housing

CNHED recognizes the importance of not just producing a sufficient number of affordable units, but also preserving the units DC already has. CNHED is a longtime supporter the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Program, rent control, and the rehabilitation of buildings to turn them into new or renewed units. If you’re passionate about preservation, please sign up to join the Support for Tenant Purchase Working Group.

Assisting Homeownership

Homeownership is a way of making sure that housing costs are predictable over the long term, and can help low- and moderate-income residents save or build equity for pursuing education or retirement. It also gives owners the option of staying their homes indefinitely, which provides stability for them and for their neighborhoods. The CNHED Ownership Housing Working Group is made up of members who provide ownership counseling, build and rehabilitate ownership units, advocate for the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), and represent a number of models of ownership. To be involved in our work assisting homeownership, please sign up to join the Ownership Housing Working Group.

Providing Resident Services

The continuum of services mirrors CNHED’s Continuum of Housing concept: just as there is a need for a range of housing, there is also a need for a range of services provided in housing communities, from those needed by the most vulnerable residents (the elderly, disabled, those at risk of homelessness) to those that assist residents who are preparing to enter the workforce and “graduate” from subsidized housing or who may be able to buy a home. The Resident Services Working Group is made up of affordable housing developers and other stakeholders who are dedicated to providing workforce and affordable housing enriched with resident services and social service referrals. Collectively, the developers and owners who are members of the working group operate over 20,000 affordable rental units in the District and serve over 40,000 residents. They have organized as a part of CNHED’s Continuum of Housing Campaign to improve the partnerships between affordable housing operators, District agencies and other providers of social service, workforce and education programs; and to offer a context for peer exchange and best practice trainings for our members and other resident services practitioners. For more information about the value of resident services, please see a paper put forth by this group, Inclusion of Resident Services Coordinators in Operating Costs. If you’d like to be involved, please sign up to join the Resident Services Working Group.

Working Toward Sustainable Communities

CNHED has long provided green trainings as part of its Training Institute, and has recently established a Green Working Group for Sustainable Communities. CNHED’s Green Working Group for Sustainable Communities is dedicated to increasing the emphasis on green and sustainable development in the community development field while exploring innovative ways to reduce, eliminate, or find funding for any additional costs. To join this important conversation, sign up to join the Green Working Group for Sustainable Communities.

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