I am proud that NMHC has long made greater diversity and inclusion in the multifamily industry a top priority. But the events of the past year made all of us take a deep look at our efforts and ask, is that enough?
We determined, after many frank discussions and both personal and professional introspection that NMHC, as the nation’s leading apartment industry trade association, has a responsibility to do more.
NMHC has brought together leaders from across the industry to determine what steps are most appropriate for NMHC—in its leadership role—and for our members to broaden opportunity across the multifamily sector. To that end, we recently announced new programs and resources dedicated to building on NMHC’s work over the past decade promoting diversity, equity and inclusion as a multifamily business imperative key to innovation and success.
I firmly believe that during my years at the head of NMHC, there has never been work as important and as meaningful as this. NMHC is committed, for the long-term, to expanding diversity, and furthering equity and inclusion, in our industry. Some of the most important initiatives, which are already underway, include:
- The NMHC Racial Equity Taskforce, which first convened in June 2020, will produce an Industry Framework for advancing economic inclusion for professionals of color within NMHC member organizations and across the multifamily sector. The Industry Framework covers access to capital and credit, supplier diversity in discretionary spending, and the talent ecosystem from early-career professionals to the C-Suite and Boards of Directors. The Industry Framework will be presented during NMHC’s Racial Equity Event on February 25.
- NMHC will present its first-ever Racial Equity Event on February 25. This live, virtual event featuring Dr. Andre Perry will help inform our understanding of equity and what it means for the multifamily industry.
- NMHC has signed on as a $100,000 Founding Diversity Partner – CRE Association with the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC). This further strengthens NMHC’s long-standing partnership with REEC and builds on existing collaborative work and shared goals, including NMHC’s Industry Framework. REEC is the leading professional trade association formed to promote the interests of minority executives doing business in the commercial real estate industry. REEC strives to create opportunities for relationship development and access to information that will lead to increased business opportunities between and among members, as well as with majority owned firms.
- NMHC has engaged The Cee Suite, a Black- and woman-owned talent management consultancy that partners with organizations to help them create high-performing, inclusive and equitable workplaces, to create a new NMHC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Toolkit. The Toolkit, expected to be released this summer, will provide apartment firms with an actionable guide and best practices to help integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all facets of organizational culture and operations.
- NMHC has separately engaged Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that addresses America’s affordable housing crisis from every angle, to produce the NMHC Housing Equity Toolkit. This resource, expected this summer, will identify practices to help the industry advance racial and housing equity in development, construction and property operations, and provide guidance on how to improve economic inclusion in communities across the country.
These efforts are all important steps to advancing economic inclusion within the industry, developing a greater understanding of equity and how that comes to life in our industry. However, we know that there is always more to be done.
For years to come, strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion will remain a top organizational goal for NMHC. We look forward to working with partners both in and outside of the industry to help us make progress and find meaningful success for our members, their employees and the communities they serve. And I hope you will make plans to join us on February 25 for our Racial Equity Event.
— Doug Bibby, NMHC President