25th Annual NAHT Conference
The 25th Annual NAHT Conference to Save Our Homes was a complete success!
The first day of the conference started off yesterday with registration, snacks and reuniting with old friends.
Sunday morning began with our Group Awards Ceremony. Organized tenant groups from around the country were recognized for their struggles to save affordable housing, improve conditions, fight for their right to organize and more!
“Everybody in here pays taxes to live in housing that is safe, sanitary and affordable housing, and we’re not gonna stop fighting til we get it!” -Latresa, tenant leader in Atlanta, GA fighting for improved living conditions in her home!
“Management tried to individuate us. I ain’t bowing down to nobody. I’m a resident and I deserve the best.” -Linda from Chicago
“We wanna make sure no one loses their home in the RAD process.”
After the awards ceremony, we were joined by two keynote speakers, Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Molly Parker, investigative reporter from the Southern Illinoisan who reports on subsidized housing condition issues.
The NAHT Conference boasts 20 tenant-led workshops on a variety of topics. Tenant leaders from around the country led discussions on Section 8 contracts, how to start and sustain a tenant group, REAC reform, how to win repairs, security with justice, fair housing, resident ownership, gentrification and displacement and many more. We got the opportunity to talk to each other, learn from each other and left feeling empowered to take what we learned back to our buildings.
Every year, NAHT meets with top HUD officials to press our agenda on tenant involvement in the REAC inspection process, management oversight process and funding for tenant organizing. Thank you to all HUD officials who attended! See our proposals here!
The final day of the conference is our legislative advocacy day! In the morning, tenants presented our legislative agenda, which a can be found here, which includes tenant empowerment and REAC reform provisions, to legislative aides from Congressional offices from both the House and the Senate.
Then we got visits from several special guest allies!
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) believes in the power of rent withholding to enforce housing standards and so do we! Our bill would strengthen rent withholding for HUD tenants by withholding HUD’s portion of the rent when tenants go on rent strike in substandard buildings!
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) longtime supporter of NAHT, spoke on the importance of full funding for public housing, project based Section 8 and other HUD programs. It should be the mission of our nation to take care of the most vulnerable!
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) met with NAHT yet again and encouraged us to keep fighting, keep voting and keep speaking up for ourselves. Thank you for your long time support of tenant organizing, safe and healthy housing and tenant empowerment!
“We have to make sure we’re preserving the affordable housing that exists and we have to raise the living conditions. We have to empower tenants and residents to move us in the right direction.” Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is on board! Thank you for meeting with us!
All in all, another great NAHT Conference is on the books. Thanks to all the attendees, volunteers and presenters for making our 25th Annual Conference a success!