We are HDC: Our part in providing more affordable housing

The African proverb ‘it takes a village’ was turned sideways last week at the annual Housing Development Consortium (HDC) Celebration Luncheon. Playing off a prime time TV series, the event presented “We Are HDC” as the theme to represent the 130+ organizations and their 16,600 employees who are members of HDC.

Working together, these members with diverse backgrounds help ensure that all people live with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable homes within communities of opportunity. Collectively we have made progress toward this goal: passage of Sound Transit 3; increased allocations to ARCH Housing Trust Fund; a $75 million Washington State Housing Trust Fund Investment; initial implementation of selected HALA recommendations; renewal of the MFTE program; passage of a Mandatory Housing Affordability program; and renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy.

We also each individually take steps to address the challenges in our daily lives. As one speaker confessed, the recognition of hard work and paycheck are nice – but the work we do is about so much more.

Weber Thompson team at the HDC meeting

Members of Weber Thompson’s Affordable Housing team at the HDC luncheon.

We at Weber Thompson have contributed in a multitude of ways to help those less fortunate. We recorded a few of those past and current efforts in our recent 2017 Impact Initiatives report.

Sadly, January’s One Night Count showed an increase above the 4,505 people counted sleeping on the street in 2016. The official 2017 tally will be released after results of the new extended survey across all of King County are compiled. With our efforts and progress seemingly negated by the count, it’s hard not to ask: “What more can I do to help swing the pendulum the other way?”

The event ended with fortune cookies. As they were passed around the table and opened one by one, we were left to contemplate our role in the complicated task that still lies ahead of us.

My fortune read: “Leadership has placed an importance on your professional development.” Fitting, because my professional development path lead me directly to the HDC. Through the Practical Development Affinity Group and other HDC events and resources, I have discovered my passion for affordable housing and will happily do my part to embody the mantra, ‘We Are HDC.’

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