Building the Future of Healthy Housing: Announcing NCHH’s New Strategic Plan
by Amanda Reddy, National Center for Healthy Housing
When NCHH began strategic planning more than a year ago, we had no idea that we would be releasing a new strategic plan amidst a global pandemic, facing radical shifts in the way we live and work, or against the backdrop of a renewed movement (and long overdue national reckoning) for racial justice. Most of our new plan was already in place by March, but we’ve invested time over the last six months to continue and deepen discussions about who we are as an organization, who we want to be, who we want to serve, and how we can be of greatest service. Strategic plans—meant to clarify, align, and inspire—can be vital tools in times of uncertainty. Yet although we were transitioning between strategic plans during this uncertain time, we’ve learned that the process of strategic planning can also be an essential tool, providing a space for not only conversation but also commitment and action.
As noted in the executive summary of our new strategic plan, these and other national events have reinforced the importance and relevance of NCHH’s work in recent years, but these events have also challenged us to expand our thinking about the role of housing in solving a wider range of public health problems (such as the role of housing in responding to global pandemics, climate change, and the fight for racial justice). As NCHH embarks on a new decade of healthy housing work, we are mindful that we cannot solve these problems alone and that if we are serious about taking the field of healthy housing to the next level, one where we imagine eradicating hazards and disparities instead of just improving them, we must also be serious about partnership, collaboration, and community capacity building. We also understand that in order to make progress, we can’t just acknowledge the historic and ongoing racial and economic disparities that make this work necessary, we must address them head on.
Today, to mark this expanded understanding of our unique role, we unveil an updated statement of our mission and vision. Moving from “securing healthy homes for all” to “transforming lives by transforming housing” more accurately captures the potential for safe, healthy, and affordable housing (internationally recognized as a human right) to be transformative for an individual, a family, or a community. Similarly, we have modified our vision statement to focus on NCHH’s strengths in leveraging effective partnerships, practical research, community capacity and awareness building, and data-driven advocacy to create both immediate impact and long-lasting systems change. We know from our past successes that this combination of bold vision with practical steps is the perfect stepping stone for meaningful and lasting impact. We are also resolute in our belief that housing is among the most powerful platforms for improving and transforming the health and lives of all Americans; as such, we are ready and excited to put this plan into action in service to that end.
We hope that you’ll be excited and inspired too. We invite you to take a look at our new plan and to reach out and let us know what resonates with you and your work.
Earlier this summer, former president Barack Obama urged the nation to remember that “what we do echoes through generations.” I think this strategic plan sets the stage for us to answer that call, and it will be my great privilege to work with our talented staff, dedicated board, and committed partners (those we know already and those we have yet to meet) to make sure that we do.
Amanda Reddy, Executive Director of the National Center for Healthy Housing, has advanced numerous initiatives, including those related to healthcare financing of healthy homes services, training and TA to support the launch and growth of sustainable healthy homes programs, and the development of indicators for the HUD Healthy Communities Index. Prior to NCHH, Ms. Reddy was a research scientist with the New York State Department of Health, where she provided program evaluation, management, and technical support for the Asthma Control, Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention, Healthy Neighborhoods, and Healthy Home Environments for New Yorkers with Asthma programs. Ms. Reddy holds an MS in environmental health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a BA in neuroscience from Mount Holyoke College.