Letter from Our Board Chair & CEO

Reflecting on 40 years of opportunity

Is it possible to have a year that is profoundly shaped by change and consistency at the same time? We think so — and for all the best reasons. 

That certainly was true for NeighborWorks America in 2018, a year that marked our 40th anniversary. Four decades is a milestone to be excited about, but for more than just our longevity. Over the years, whether assisting tens of thousands of families with the dream of homeownership, providing affordable rental housing, helping homeowners recover from one of the worst housing and financial crises in recent history, or being on the ground to provide critical assistance and education for communities regrouping and rebuilding after devastating natural disasters, NeighborWorks America has been a leader in working collaboratively to develop innovative solutions for our network's short-term needs and long-term goals. As we looked back over the last 40 years, we celebrated our role as a reliable, steadfast resource for our network, while at the same time growing and improving the training, technology, programs and services we offer to affordable housing and community development professionals. Our mission to create opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, remains unchanged, but how we go about achieving it must evolve, and we must be proactive in that pursuit. 

As we looked back over the last 40 years, we celebrated our role as a reliable, steadfast resource for our network, while at the same time growing and improving the training, technology, programs and services we offer to affordable housing and community development professionals.

This important work can't be done without its most essential component: our people. That was as true in 1978 as it is today. Our leadership — NeighborWorks America's officers and senior team, working hand in hand with our board of directors — is dedicated to ensuring that we're being good stewards of our government appropriation, continually responding to the needs of our diverse network and delivering value, while also fostering a problem-solving, opportunity-driven culture within NeighborWorks. We have nearly 300 people that come to work every day ready to make a difference. Our people are dedicated to NeighborWorks' values, and that is a very positive place from which to go forward. We want to ensure that everyone at NeighborWorks America, regardless of position, understands how vital their role is to our mission.

Our people are where the good work begins. And it ends with the thousands of folks working locally in small rural towns, large urban centers and everywhere in between throughout this country. This powerful synergy is critical to building strong communities, nationally and at the local level, where the impact truly is the greatest. Part of that winning formula is making sure that we listen to what is top of mind for people in every household and community we serve, what they're excited about, what obstacles they face, and where we can find opportunities to thrive together. 

As we enter the next chapter in NeighborWorks America's development, we are encouraged to see this organization become even more adaptive to change, especially in the use of new technologies to reach potential clients and customers, and in our ability to develop revenue streams outside of traditional funding sources. As you read through this annual report, you'll learn more about what makes us tick — a snapshot of the people, places and programs that make up NeighborWorks America, what we've done and what we plan to do. 

We are confident that NeighborWorks America will remain at the forefront of affordable housing and the broader community development field as we enter our 41st year of service and long after. Here's to the next 40 years. 

Sincerely,

Grovetta N. Gardineer
Chair, Board of Directors, NeighborWorks America

Marietta Rodriguez
President and CEO, NeighborWorks America