HDC MidAtlantic is more than just a housing provider. We are property managers, community partners, collaborators, and most importantly, resident advocates. As a people-centered organization, we value residents’ unique experiences and perspectives in all layers of our work, informing the direction of the organization and building residents’ skills and leadership to affect change in HDC’s affordable housing communities.
This important work was highlighted by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania at this year’s Homes Within Reach Conference at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA. HDC received the Resident Empowerment Award, recognizing the organization’s commitment to resident engagement, empowerment, and leadership programs.
At HDC, we know that when an individual has secured stable housing, they can focus on other personal goals including building skills and knowledge to have a greater impact in their communities and affect change in their lives. Resident engagement is a focus of HDC’s Resident Services work—a core service of the organization alongside Real Estate Development and Property Management.
“I am incredibly proud to work alongside residents, sharing power, to build an incredible organization that is resident-centered, and one that is bold and brave enough to create the change we want see in this world,” Dana Hanchin, President & CEO of HDC said at the conference. “Our work is not just about the ‘bricks and sticks’ of building affordable housing. It is about building community, connecting neighbors, and fostering leadership.”
HDC residents can participate in leadership development and skill-building workshops, meet with elected officials, share their personal stories at local, state, and federal hearings, and more. HDC’s engagement initiatives were catalyzed through our chartered membership with NeighborWorks America, a network of nearly 250 nonprofit high-performing housing and community development organizations across the United States.
“Housing provides the stability that a person needs to move from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’—to achieve their own life goal and dreams. HDC MidAtlantic is an example of a housing provider that is not just providing affordable housing but is actively supporting and partnering with residents to use this new-found stability to act on their personal goals, use their voices, and exert control over their lives,” said Phyllis Chamberlain, Executive Director at the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. “This focus on listening to and engaging residents as peers helps individuals and makes the organization stronger.”
HDC Board Member and resident Edwin Martinez Feliciano shared personal reflections on the positive impact leadership roles at HDC and in his community, Duke Manor Apartments in Lancaster, PA, have had on his life at the conference.
“We just finished the first year of the Resident Advisory Council. This council allows me to guide HDC with the residents, build new programs, and listen to them. I take their feedback to the board, and we do our best to help them,” he shared. “Communication is leadership. Motivation is leadership. With passion, every person can achieve every step of the way.”
Learn more about Resident Engagement opportunities at HDC here: https://hdcweb.org/resident-engagement/