September 18, 2020
By now, many of you may have seen the various articles and announcements about my return to DHIC as President and CEO. Those pieces focused a great deal on how my previous work experience, which has been focused almost entirely on helping to finance and develop affordable housing, will be the foundation for the work that I plan to do here at DHIC.
However, I would like to provide a different introduction so that our residents might better understand why I am committed to this work and those that DHIC serves. I grew up in a single parent household with a mother who devoted her adult life to nurturing me and my younger siblings. She sacrificed so that all of our needs were met. Having a home of our own provided us with a foundation that allowed each of us to thrive. We were able to take advantage of after school activities and summer programs within our community that kept us engaged, focused on staying healthy and getting good grades.
The opportunity to help my neighbors in the larger community was what first attracted me to DHIC when I worked here back in 1994. I jumped at the chance to help families get into their own homes. Being a part of DHIC introduced me to the world of developing affordable multi-family rental housing and I knew that I would continue to do this work for the rest of my life. During my time away, I was able to see and experience how other organizations across the southeastern U.S. do this work. What sets DHIC apart from many of them is our commitment to long term ownership and establishing partnerships that support families and seniors beyond just providing housing.
We are living in a time unlike anything that we have experienced before. Concerns about our health during the COVID-19 pandemic, physical safety, financial well-being, racial equity and inclusion have all converged. My message to our residents is that DHIC’s commitment to serving you has not changed just because there is someone new with the title of President.
Our work to provide more new housing for individuals, families and seniors continues. Our work to preserve the quality of our existing housing communities continues. Our work to help families move to homeownership continues. Our work to connect seniors with services that help them to live independently continues.
By virtue of the work that we do day in and day out, we may have assumed that we were doing our part to address diversity, equity and inclusion by default, but we know that there is more that needs to be done. And so, the work that we do on a daily basis will be purposefully and intentionally guided by the need to help move us all to a more equitable and inclusive community that treats everyone with dignity and respect.
Want to learn more about Yolanda? Check out her interview with NC Housing Coalition on their recent podcast episode of Housing Matters to Me.