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NLIHC Announces New Board and Executive Committee Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) announces the appointment of three new members to the NLIHC Board of Directors and the election of three new Executive Committee members. The Kelsey’s Allie Cannington, Chief Seattle Club’s Derrick Belgarde, and the Frederick E. Samuel Resident Association’s Diana Blackwell will join the NLIHC Board. NLIHC’s three newly elected Executive Committee members are existing NLIHC Board members. Minnesota Housing Partnership Executive Director Anne Mavity has been elected NLIHC’s First Vice-Chair, while Georgia Advancing Communities Together (Georgia ACT) President and CEO Dr. Bambie Hayes-Brown and Resident United Network (RUN) Tenant Leader Zella Knight have been elected At-Large members of NLIHC’s Executive Committee.

Allie Cannington serves as the senior manager of advocacy and organizing with The KelseyCannington supports The Kelsey’s policy and advocacy efforts to advance disability-forward housing solutions at the state and federal levels and works to ensure that efforts to create change are co-led by diverse and multiply-marginalized disabled people. Cannington's work is dedicated to unveiling everyone’s proximity to disability and to fueling justice movements that are intersectional, sustainable, and intergenerational. “With a focus on disability-forward housing advocacy, I am so honored to join the powerhouse of NLIHC,” Cannington said. “I am dedicated to bring the lens of disability access and equity to their groundbreaking work across research, policy change, and organizing.”

Derrick Belgarde is the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, where he works to provide food, primary healthcare, housing assistance, legal services, work training, and human services for members of the urban Native community while also celebrating Native cultures. Mr. Belgarde is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon and is also Chippewa-Cree from Rocky Boy Montana. He serves on the boards of Community Roots Housing, Downtown Emergency Service Center, the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, and the Housing Development Consortium. “It’s an honor joining the NLIHC board,” said Mr. Belgarde. “I’m excited to begin working with such a knowledgeable and dedicated team. The affordable housing crisis continues to grow, while countless lives, families, and communities continue to suffer. I’m looking forward to contributing to finding solutions.”

Diana Blackwell is the president of the Frederick E. Samuel Resident Association, an advocacy organization of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Ms. Blackwell is a recognized community leader and serves on the board of the National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH), where she educates and empowers public housing residents. Ms. Blackwell has also been recognized for her exemplary community volunteerism. “Housing is a human right,” said Ms. Blackwell. “Housing is an essential element of human life, and it produces stability, dignity, and the inner strength that helps a person reach their full potential. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to join the NLIHC family, which understands this principle, and I will continue advocating until everyone who is in need of housing is housed.”

“NLIHC’s new board members bring dedication and exceptional leadership to the collective work of ensuring housing justice for the lowest-income and most marginalized communities,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “I am pleased to welcome Allie, Diana, and Derrick to the NLIHC Board of Directors. Together, with their leadership and partnership, NLIHC is set on its unwavering path forward to end homelessness and housing poverty, dismantle systemic housing inequalities, and achieve housing justice once and for all.”

“We are also pleased to announce the election of our existing board members to their new appointments on the Executive Committee,” said Ms. Yentel. “Anne, Bambie, and Zella are invaluable partners on the NLIHC Board, and we are looking forward to their continued leadership in their new roles."

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