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December 29, 2015: A Message from Executive Director Marcia Rosen
“NHLP uniquely stands at the cross roads of housing and community development, legal services for the poor, and civil rights. It’s been my privilege to be part of an organization that has justice in its very bones.”
I am retiring at the end of 2015, after seven years as NHLP’s Executive Director. I joined NHLP following twenty years of civil rights practice and more than a decade in local government working on housing and community development issues because I wanted to contribute to an organization I had long revered. It will be difficult to step away since I remain as committed as ever to NHLP’s mission and am inspired every day by my dedicated and talented colleagues.
I am proud of what NHLP has accomplished during my tenure. It has preserved thousands of affordable homes at risk of demolition or conversion to market rate and protected their residents from displacement. It has fought for improvements to public housing and empowerment of its residents in the face of widespread neglect and demonization. We have advanced the housing rights of people who have been marginalized, such as survivors of domestic violence, immigrants, people with disabilities, and those reentering our communities after incarceration. As the foreclosure crisis engulfed the country, NHLP responded with pioneering advocacy on behalf of displaced tenants and litigation support for homeowners struggling to maintain their homes. NHLP attorneys have been the wise counsel and educators of thousands of housing advocates and invaluable advisors to allied legislators and policymakers, giving voice to low-income tenants’ needs in the context of complex housing policy.
I am very optimistic about NHLP’s future. We are undergoing a healthy generational shift, with a staff composed of nationally-recognized housing law veterans and emerging leaders whom we have recruited and mentored. I feel confident that the next generation of NHLP leaders is prepared to move NHLP into the future with creativity and passion.
I am grateful for those who generously support our work: our donors and friends, members of the Housing Justice Network, the foundations that have embraced our work, the California State Bar, and government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women and the California Attorney General’s Office. Many of you have stood by us since 1996, when the very future of NHLP was at risk due to the federally-mandated withdrawal of funding for all legal services support centers. Your steadfast support insured NHLP’s continued viability, bringing us to this place of stability and growth.
The NHLP Board of Directors has appointed Stephen Knight and Susan Stern as Interim Co-Directors and has launched the search for my successor, and I will remain available to the Board and staff through the transition. Thank you for the support you’ve offered during my time at NHLP. It has been a great journey together. And, as NHLP commences the next leg of the journey towards justice, please join me in supporting it for many years to come.