Our new reality reveals an old truth.
We always knew that community is about connection, our connection to the people around us. With the pandemic, we’ve been reminded how much we depend on one another and how necessary our neighbor's well-being is to our own.
Stand at a white board. Map it out. Name just one need you have that is satisfied by a person you don’t know very well. Where does that person live? How do they live? In what conditions? Can they afford the place they call home? If they can’t, how does that affect their life? How does it affect yours? Now, repeat the exercise. You might need a bigger board.
We have the tools right now to support the lives of others, to support our community. It starts with our homes — and always has. We all need housing that is safe, decent, and affordable. It’s not something to dream about, it’s essential.
Read our 2020 Annual Report
Housing Partnership Equity Trust is in the business of building community. Today our community is hurting as we grieve the repeated loss of life, the loss of dignity, and the loss of our people’s potential, as the result of racial inequality, hatred, and division. As we go forward, we can and we must turn our rightful grief and our rage into winning, once and for all, the fight for racial equality.
As Americans, one of the most powerful weapons we have to use in this fight is our right, recognized in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to peaceably assemble and to petition our government for a redress of grievances. The First Amendment acknowledges our power as citizens and helps define who we are as people. We honor and support those who are engaging in peaceful protest and call on our government leaders to protect those exercising this Constitutional right.
The current crisis is demonstrating that housing is healthcare and so much more for each of us. It is our homeschooling classroom, our eldercare facility, and, if we are fortunate, our telework office. Folks who have a safe, secure, affordable place to call home are better positioned to avoid exposure to Covid19, to take care of their children and their parents, to telework where that is possible and to rejoin the workforce as jobs open up. So stable access to affordable housing is fundamental to our families and to our communities.
This crisis is also demonstrating the importance of partnerships – and for HPET that means our best-in-class nonprofit partners, who have good, strong teams on the ground, with deep local experience and strong asset management capability. Our partners’ expertise is enabling them to respond in real time to meet changing property conditions.
While this crisis is unprecedented in so many respects, we at HPET can draw on our experience from previous real estate downturns, from the savings and loan crisis of the 1990s to major natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy to the housing bubble and collapse of 2008, 2009, and 2010. Key lessons that continue to be relevant include act quickly, stay nimble and evolve your strategy, communicate often, and be prepared to do more than you ever thought you might need to do. In our case, we quickly moved to virtual operations and have been able to seamlessly conduct business remotely. We have been engaging more than ever with our partners and stakeholders and other housing leaders. And we are working together to meet the needs of our residents, our properties, our investors and our communities.
This crisis is also reminding us that we always have more to learn. So, we’d like to hear from you. What are you doing? What is working and what is falling short? How can we engage with you to help our communities? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start a conversation.