I wanted to flag this new entity, as it is being started by the National Innovation Service, led by Marc Dones, our Network racial equity trainer last year. He and NIS are continually in motion on this work, and here’s yet another way to connect and support our own ongoing efforts:

The National Innovation Service (NIS) is announcing the establishment of the Center on Housing Justice, an arm of the agency that will focus on dismantling structural racism inside our nation’s housing and homeless service systems and redesigning toward an equitable future.

The Center on Housing Justice is coming to life in a moment where national attention is critically focused on the systemic failures of our public systems for Black people and other communities of color. Just as our law enforcement and criminal legal systems are built on a foundation of structural racism that leads to harmful outcomes for Black people and other people of color, our housing and homeless systems are fruit of the same poisonous tree. 

Ending homelessness will not be possible without focusing our efforts on housing justice. We have a responsibility to create a nation where everyone has access to the supports they need and where housing is a human right.

The Center on Housing Justice will be a hub to expand the connections of the housing and homelessness sector to organizers and activists across the country who are actively working to reimagine their communities. The Center will work to develop and support housing justice agendas across the country by centering racial justice, using community-based participatory research and design, and engaging directly in community organizing. “Following the track record of NIS, you can expect the Center for Housing Justice to be uncompromising in our vision,” said Marc Dones, Executive Director. “You can expect the team we build to transform our housing systems by relentlessly pursuing racial justice, fighting for transgender equity, and centering people whom housing and other systems have failed over and over in our country’s history.”

We are proud to announce that Sarah Hunter will be joining NIS and will be the first dedicated member of the Center on Housing Justice team. Hunter is a former Policy Advisor to Secretary Julián Castro of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an architect of the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, and most recently, a Senior Program Manager at CSH, leading youth homelessness policy and planning. She can be reached at [email protected] beginning July 1st.

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