From the Director’s Desk
Why Home Matters: discovering the platform for social progress.
Last year in May, I spoke about the idea of “HOME” and how our sense of home forms the foundation for our well-being, allowing us to go forward into the world knowing we always have a safe place to return to. I wanted to revisit that topic this year, but with a new focus: the role home plays as the platform for social progress. Speaking to my nonprofit executive counterparts across the country, listening to representatives of government, reading the literature of community development—more than at any time in the past 30 years, we are coming to a collective understanding of the central role of home. In ways that are increasingly validated by academic research, affordable housing is being connected to profound improvements in health, in family stability, in employment and more. And when focused on the neediest, affordable housing combined with services—supportive housing—reduces the cost of government.
Since early 2013, TNDC has been in the forefront of a new national movement called Home Matters™, which aims to unite America around the essential role that home plays as the bedrock for thriving lives, communities, and a stronger nation. Home Matters was launched in Washington, DC in March with leaders of nearly 200 housing and community development organizations from across the nation participating. Spearheading the launch was the National NeighborWorks® Association – of which TNDC is a member.
Also participating in the launch were U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress. They represented a broad political spectrum, and their collective presence underscored that Home Matters regardless of your political beliefs.
Affordable housing, after all, benefits far more than those who live in it. It benefits the broader community, because stable affordable homes help children learn and, therefore, enhance school performance; they encourage healthy habits, elevating public health; they reinforce safe behaviors, enhancing public safety.
As Father John Hardin once said so eloquently, “it is less expensive to society to house people than allow them to remain homeless.”
I urge you to see how they connect the dots at www.homemattersamerica.org.
Donald S. Falk, Executive Director