Going Green for Smarter Housing
Ep. 28 - In this episode of the Community Trailblazers Podcast, Nan McKay interviews Michael Bodaken as he shares his past role as head of the nonprofit National Housing Trust. He was largely responsible for the growth of the organization into an industry leader in affordable housing and green preservation, targeting grants and loans for energy retrofits of affordable housing. He was one of the co founders of “Energy Efficiency for All” a unique collaboration between National Housing Trust, National Resources Defense Council and the Energy Foundation. Michael Bodaken knows it is going to take serious innovation and creativity to turn around the nation's neglect of its affordable housing. Bodaken discusses why, without sufficient housing supply and direct assistance, too many must struggle to compete in the same market as those with higher incomes. He discusses what the affordable housing sector looks like today and what he anticipates in the future.
- Understanding the role of the National Housing Trust in affordable housing
- The difference between affordable housing and subsidized housing
- The importance of making housing assistance a human right in the US
- The importance of building affordable houses in urban areas to accommodate the growing demand
- The connection between both physical and mental health with housing
Listen to hear what the affordable housing sector looks like today and what he anticipates in the future.
“Without good practice, good policy isn’t easily made and is often wrong.” - Michael Bodaken
He strongly advocates for energy efficiency when rehabbing housing, as it lowers construction costs and the improved efficiency means lower utility rates and a lower rent payment. This should be part of many workable, bipartisan solutions like expanding vouchers and rehabilitation of housing stock.
Under his leadership, the Trust financed and preserved more than 30,000 affordable homes throughout the nation, leveraging more than $1 billion in financing. National Housing Trust, through its subsidiary National Housing Trust Community Development Fund, provides low-interest loans to affordable housing developers across the U.S. Through affiliate NHT-Enterprise, National Housing Trust owns and operates nearly 4000 affordable homes along the East Coast and Midwest.
Michael Bodaken knows it is going to take serious innovation and creativity to turn around the nation's neglect of its affordable housing. Bodaken discusses why, without sufficient housing supply and direct assistance, too many must struggle to compete in the same market as those with higher incomes.
Prior to joining the Trust, Michael worked as Deputy Mayor for Housing for the City of Los Angeles after having practiced public interest law for more than a decade.
Listen in to learn the importance of affordable housing policies that would ensure every American has a decent place they can call home. You will also learn the connection between homelessness with both physical and mental health.
He explains the role of the National Housing Trust in affordable housing and why it is was formed [3:19]
How practice and policy fundamentally interrelate in affordable housing [4:41]
How funding works for the National Housing Trust and the plans in place to ensure other sources of funding than solely relying on grants [5:43]
The concentration of the housing trust on mostly multifamily housing [7:15]
Michael explains why there is a difference between affordable housing and subsidized housing and why many people today prefer the former [7:52]
Why housing assistance needs to be a right in America, making housing affordable as is done in other industrial countries in the world [10:51]
He describes the meaning of workforce housing and whether it is really necessary [12:17]
The past and future of the housing policy and how to deal with the housing crisis in America [13:36]
He describes one of his biggest accomplishments as the energy efficiency program without federal, local, or state assistance that continued even after his tenure [19:54]
Why there is a need to build affordable housing in urban areas due to population pressure [21:19]
He mentions other things like energy that could reduce housing costs [22:51]
How hospitals can take advantage of affordable housing by giving back to the community and protecting their bottom line [23:27]
How studies show that people feel stable with a home and unstable when homeless and the connection between homelessness and mental health [25:48]
Why he believes that his biggest legacy was connecting lending finance and policy [27:23]
His advice to young people who would like to join the affordable housing sector or follow any other career path [28:16]