Note from the Board

I would like to take this opportunity today to tell you about some important changes at the National Housing Institute–changes that, like so much of life, are both happy and sad.

In February, David Sailer left his post as NHI executive director to return to the SEIU where he will be rejoining the labor movement. With more than 2.2 million members, SEIU is the fastest growing union in the country, and David will focus his efforts there developing systems for providing services to SEIU’s growing membership on a national and international scale.

While David’s tenure at NHI was short, it was far from uneventful. David maintained and enhanced many of the long-time relationships we’ve had here within the community development, affordable housing, community organizing, and advocacy worlds. He also began to guide us to new relationships that will strengthen the ties between labor and community in the years to come.

Though we will miss David’s everyday presence, we’re pleased that he will stay on as a senior fellow, helping us to establish and maintain a link to the progressive labor movement as we all continue our struggles to help raise families out of poverty.

I’m happy to report that Harold Simon, an NHI senior fellow and long-time past executive director and Shelterforce editor, has stepped in to fill the hole created by David’s departure.

Harold has been busy with a number of important projects, most notably the Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC), where he served as a project coordinator. CAPC is a new organization designed to rescue homes in fragile neighborhoods harmed by the foreclosure crisis. Many individuals close to NHI are involved in CAPC, including NHI board members Diane Sterner and Patrick Morrissy, and NHI senior fellow Alan Mallach, who each serve on the CAPC board. In addition to serving on the board, Pat is also executive director of HANDS Inc., the CDC that executed “Operation Neighborhood Recovery,” a project that serves as a cornerstone of the CAPC concept.

We hope to continue to provide the information and analysis you’ve come to expect and rely on from NHI/Shelterforce over the past 34 years, and look forward to your comments, guidance and continued support.

John Atlas is a founder of Shelterforce and board chair emeritus. He is the producer of ACORN and the Firestorm, a film directed by Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard and author of SEEDS OF CHANGE: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Community Group. He is also the former executive director of the Passaic County Legal Aid Society.


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