Commissioners Corner: Goals
I bring you greetings on behalf of the NAHRO Commissioner’s Committee, where I serve as Vice President/Chair. The committee’s mission is to support the goals of NAHRO as well as expand the skills of commissioners to effectively work with housing professionals and to advocate for the various programs and needs of the housing agencies across the nation. I would like to encourage you to take advantage of the many tools and resources that NAHRO provides for commissioners – I’ll be discussing some here, but you can find the rest on NAHRO’s website.
One of the most important resources that NAHRO provides for housing and community development Commissioners is education. The association does this by providing online and in-person classes, such as Commissioners’ Fundamentals and Ethics for Commissioners. We also develop and present newer and better educational sessions specifically for commissioners at every NAHRO conference. This year, we plan to roll out the “Commissioners and Executive Director’s Relationship” roundtable. For those who wish to take their professionalism to the next level, there is even a Commissioners’ Certification! NAHRO also publishes a Commissioner’s Handbook, which provides valuable information about issues that Commissioners face every day. While the current edition is a valuable book, it is also nearly 10 years old. One of our most important goals is to publish a new edition of this valuable resource by the end of the year. We’re already hard at work on it, and we look forward to releasing it soon!
We will also continue to stress the importance of advocacy. Many commissioners have an advantage when it comes to advocating for the programs needed to adequately support low income housing: the majority of us have been appointed by a political person or body, and therefore our character and voices are already known to our communities.
The NAHRO website features an advocacy page that allows you to send letters about housing and community development issues to your elected representatives. If you attend a NAHRO conference and would like to learn more about this, please visit our Spot-On Advocacy table. We will also be sending out correspondence to your various agencies on advocacy. Lastly, we encourage you to take advantage of our Mentors from the committee by signing up to be mentees. The ability to pick up the phone or send an email for your questions is a plus in the industry that we serve.
I would like to leave you with the question that NAHRO President Carl Richie asked of the NAHRO leadership at our planning meeting earlier this year: why do we do what we do? Unlike the professionals, most of us receive no compensation as a commissioner. That’s not to say that others do it for a paycheck -- housing is something you have to love to do it. Most of us do it because we have a passion to help others. We want to make differences in lives that are not always a priority. Commissioners, you are special and NAHRO is committed to enhancing your heart and head with many tools and opportunities. We encourage you to take advantage of everything NAHRO has to offer: the classes, the conference sessions, the advocacy tools, the educational resources, the networking opportunities and more! NAHRO wants to work for you - let them do it!