On Thursday, June 20, 2013, the National Housing Conference held its annual Housing Person of the Year Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.
NeighborWorks America (Eileen Fitzgerald, president and CEO accepted the award) and Omni New York LLC (Maurice “Mo” Vaughn, founder, and Eugene Schneur accepted the award) were honored. Conrad Egan received the Carol A. S. Coan, Sr. Award for Public Service to Affordable Housing.
NeighborWorks America was honored for the strides it continues to make in the face of the challenging housing market, particularly with respect to the National Foreclosure Mitigation Program, which administers housing counseling services to low-income communities of first-time homeowners. Fitzgerald remarked on NeighborWork's accomplishments, saying “through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program and other foreclosure intervention work, we have helped more than 1.5 million homeowners weather the crisis.” Fitzgerald serves on the Shelterforce Editorial Advisory Counsel, and has made a continued investment in the work of Shelterforce in representing the voice of community development.
Omni New York LLC was honored for the work it does to rehabilitate affordable housing in the five boroughs of New York City and across the country. From its beginning in 2004 through today, ONY LLC has rehabbed or is currently at work on 8,000 units of affordable housing (majority Section 8 properties) in multifamily properties. Beyond providing safe, decent, and affordable units for residents, Omni properties often feature supportive programs, including after-school activities, computer literacy classes, and social events.
Conrad Egan has had a long career, both in public and private sectors, and is regarded as a leader and advocate for affordable housing and community development. For nearly 20 years he worked for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) overseeing the Model Cities programs in the Midwest. He later served as the executive vice president of the National Housing Partnership, and eventually joined NHC where, in his latest capacity, he was the president and CEO. Egan was interviewed by Shelterforce in 2011. When asked about the future of affordable housing, Egan says “we have the tools we need to achieve success, we just need to refine and sharpen these tools.”
More information on the gala and photos from the event are available on the NHC website.
(Photos courtsey of National Housing Conference)