NIMC Celebrates Five Years; Message From Amy Khare

NIMC team standing together

This year, the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (NIMC) is celebrated their 5th birthday! As we mark this anniversary, we want to take a moment to thank you for your support and guidance over the years. Our work necessitates the energy, ideas and investments of so many people, and your individual role in shaping our collective efforts makes the journey so much more impactful.

Organizationally, we launched as a start-up with leaders, Mark Joseph and Taryn Gress, whose commitment to birthing new projects created the necessary momentum to spur longer-term sustainability. We have grown from a staff of 2 to a team of 8 full-time staff, 6 student research assistants, 6 research affiliates, 5 affiliated faculty and active project teams that include colleagues from the Community Innovation Network, Neighborhood Connections, Trusted Space Partners, Urban Strategies Inc., the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. As we have grown, we continue to remain passionate about our mission to help reduce urban poverty and promote inclusive, equitable mixed-income communities.

We are especially grateful to our funders and clients who have made this all possible. The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided the original seed funding and has sustained support as we have grown. The Ford Foundation has provided crucial and timely core operating support. PNC Bank and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing have supported our work in our home region of Northeast Ohio. The Kresge Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have supported the work of the Mixed-Income Strategic Alliance and the Mixed-Income Innovation and Action Network. Many thanks as well to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Deputy Mayor's Office for Planning and Economic Development in Washington, D.C., The Partnership for HOPE SF, The Cleveland Foundation, the St. Luke's Foundation, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.

This past year, we have gone deep with our projects in neighborhoods close to home in Cleveland, as well as cities on both coasts, including Washington D.C. and San Francisco. We have forged new relationships with partners at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin and in Cleveland’s Woodhill community, where we are supporting needs assessment and people planning on a Choice Neighborhood planning grant. We completed the national evaluation of HUD’s Jobs Plus Demonstration, led by MDRC and with the Center for Urban and Regional Studies-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with the first HUD report published and another to be released soon. And, Mark and I presented "Succeeding Where Mixed-Income Transformation Falls Short" at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Lots more to come in the year ahead, including the release of essays that are part of the new volume that our team is producing, What Works to Promote Inclusive, Equitable Mixed-Income, Mixed-Use Communities, funded by the Kresge Foundation, to be published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Also in 2019, we will be seeking your input for our strategic planning process, which we launched at a recent team retreat.

While we celebrate the growth over five years, we also acknowledge how vigilant we must remain as warriors in the struggle to address racism, classism and other forms of oppression. In this era of disconnection and distrust, we appreciate all that you do to advance social and political change that builds relationships, opportunities and hope across various populations, geographies and sectors. As the political and moral pendulum swings, we are committed to laying the groundwork for a better future for all. This short read, “Walking With the Wind”, by Congressman John Lewis is a reminder of the work we do, why we do it and why we do it together.

We are incredibly grateful for your enduring partnership. May we stand strong and innovate on the edge of our comfort zones, ultimately helping to impact research, policy and practice that brings about inclusion, equity and social justice.