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August 14, 2013 / Rebekah Seder

How the region’s foreclosure crisis affects us all

HOUSING
– In an op-ed, Russ Snyder, chair of the Nonprofit Roundtable, and Karen Lewis Young, chair of the Council of Governments, write that the foreclosure crisis is far from over. Although the media seems to have moved on from the crisis, foreclosures continue to impact everyone (WaPo, 8/9):

The housing crisis affected all income levels in all parts of our region. “We have seen every economic group, from owners of $125,000 condos to $1 million homes,” says Marian Siegel of Housing Counseling Services. “This is not a poor person’s issue or a minority issue, but one that impacts the entire community.” Even people who have remained current may see their property values drop as the number of foreclosures in the neighborhood increases. It continues to weigh on the region’s recovering housing market.

In response to their piece, WRAG’s VP Gretchen Greiner-Lott says,

“Kudos to the Nonprofit Roundtable and the Council of Governments for both supporting folks facing foreclosure and reminding us all that the foreclosure crisis in our region is not over yet. As stated in their piece, foreclosures impact our entire community, not just poor or minority communities. If our region is to thrive, everyone needs stable housing that is affordable to them. That’s the very reason that WRAG’s Affordable Housing Action Team is working to engage the philanthropic sector in helping to expand and/or preserve the local affordable housing stock.”

- The Incredible Shrinking Housing Authority Funding (CP, 8/13)

COMMUNITY | The sale of the Post has inspired much reflection on the prominent role the Graham family has played in the civic life of D.C.  Julie Rogers, president of the Meyer Foundation (which was founded by Eugene Meyer, former owner and publisher of the Post, and his wife Agnes), comments on the Graham family’s impact on local philanthropy: (WaPo, 8/11)

In the late 1990s, a group of executives from major national foundations was in town for a meeting. Katharine Graham invited them to what Rogers called “a magnificent and memorable party” on the porch of her home, where they mingled with Washington luminaries and members of the local giving community.

That night, Rogers said, was something of a turning point for philanthropy in the region.

“We went a long way in changing the attitudes of national foundations,” Rogers said, who previously hadn’t committed much funding to groups in this region with local missions.

NONPROFITS
- In his latest “Against the Grain” post, the Meyer Foundation‘s Rick Moyers writes about how to know when to say “no” to board service. (Chronicle, 8/12). Needless to say, we are glad he did not say no to serving on WRAG’s board.

- The country’s changing demographics have big implications for fundraising. (Chronicle, 8/11)

PHILANTHROPY
– Corporations increasingly allow employees to take paid time off for community service, a strategy that allows companies to continue their community engagement work when budgets are tight, as well as attract and retain employees. One company that is taking this approach is PNC, which gives employees 40 paid hours a year to volunteer with the company’s “Grow Up Great” initiative. (WaPo, 8/12)

HEALTHCARE | The D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority today announced $6.4 million in grants to 35 local organizations to focus on getting uninsured District residents enrolled in health insurance when the insurance marketplace opens on October 1. (WaPo, 8/14)

ARTS | Silver Spring’s Forum Theatre is introducing a pay-what-you-want policy for tickets, in an attempt to make its plays more accessible to all. (WaPo, 8/12)

EDUCATION | Opinion: Losers in the education wars (WaPo, 8/8)


The history of the world in one simple data visualization!

- Rebekah

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