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Celebrating 2012 and Creating a Transformative 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013  
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A Message from Executive Director
Sara Reynolds

Celebrating 2012 and Creating a Transformative 2013

This tends to be a reflective time of year –and with the anticipation of a new year ahead of us, it makes us all a bit wistful for the past year, our achievements and challenges. This is true for communities such as Housing Colorado as well, and before we get swept away into another calendar year, it’s important that we pause for a moment and consider the success of 2012.

I would first like to thank our members and volunteers who are vital to the organization. Without the contributions of our engaged members, Housing Colorado could not sustain the level and quality of our programs and services throughout the year. Collectively, our volunteers contribute over 3,300 hours in service to Housing Colorado each year. Based on 175 active volunteers, that averages to almost 20 hours per person, per year. That may seem rather modest, but it amounts to over $72,000 annually in direct cost savings for Housing Colorado. It’s a great example of how small contributions from a large community of dedicated professionals add up to substantial outcomes.

While acknowledging our volunteers I would like to specially thank two Housing Colorado Board members, Jody Kole and Darla Goodard. Jody is our current past-chair of the board and an influential voice representing the needs of our western slope members. Darla is 2012’s board chair and the consistent leadership in the organization, ushering in a number of critical changes in the organization this year. 2012 bring the end of their board terms with Housing Colorado and we thank both Jody and Darla for contributing to a successful year.

Housing Colorado started 2012 with the final settlement reached between the Attorneys General of over 40 states and the five largest mortgage loan-servicing companies in the country. Together with the incredible leadership of the Division of Housing and the Colorado Attorney General’s office, we celebrated the formation of the Colorado Housing Investment Fund. This historic event was the fulfillment of a vision held by so many in our industry for years, and serves as a model for collaboration among an entire community of professional stakeholders.

This spring we also partnered with the Urban Land Conservancy and the Colorado and Denver Association of Home Builders on the release of a study that quantified in real dollars the economic impact of the affordable housing industry. This study proved without a doubt the value of our work and contributions to sustainable and economically viable communities in Colorado. The full report, with both metro-area data and statewide data, is available on the Housing Colorado website – I strongly urge to check it out, it’s an invaluable resource.

This year Housing Colorado continued our long history of providing top notch training and professional development. Through our series of forums, brown bags and webinars, we reached 584 attendees this year and covered nuts and bolts topics such as how to sail through an audit, and thought-provoking topics such as homelessness and veterans issues. Of course, none of these programs would have been possible without the generous contributions of all our speakers and panelists – dozens of people, who shared their knowledge and expertise with our membership.

This year marked the 24th annual Housing Colorado NOW! Conference and drew over 600 participants, once again confirming that our conference is the biggest training event in the Rocky Mountain region. Just as important, our annual conference is a showcase for our many sponsors – most of whom have been supporting Housing Colorado for many years now. Their financial contributions are significant, but they also represent our industry experts across all areas of affordable housing – construction, financing, development, supportive services and much more. As we look to 2013, you’ll be seeing more from our sponsors in this area; they are influential resources for our community.

This leads me to the year ahead. As you know, we are in the midst of our 2013 membership campaign. Membership associations like Housing Colorado can offer the many specific benefits you personally receive as reasons to join. And certainly Housing Colorado can help you reach your professional goals. But Housing Colorado – and Housing Colorado alone – plays another role: helping the affordable housing industry reach its collective goals. Our vision statement says it best: A decent, safe and affordable home in a healthy and sustainable community for every Coloradan. While we do have many smart and talented people in our community, no one person individually can achieve this vision on their own. But collectively as Housing Colorado we can – and each day we DO- for countless citizens throughout Colorado.

This coming year, you are going to see several new tools from Housing Colorado that will help us move closer to that vision. You’ll see a new website, more distance-learning opportunities, and us out and about throughout the state hosting regional town hall meetings. You’ll also see a new resource library with greater technical content, and new and fresh ways to get involved with Housing Colorado and develop your own leadership capacity.

Since joining Housing Colorado as Executive Director in June, I have been fortunate to meet and work with many of you in our membership. It’s clear that Housing Colorado is a passionate community of driven professionals who understand the power of sharing and achieving a collective vision. Together, we look forward to creating a successful 2013 and continuing to transform the affordable housing industry and the citizens we proudly serve.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year!

Sara Reynolds
Executive Director
Housing Colorado

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