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Who We Are

The Capital Region of Baltimore, Washington and Richmond overflows with wealth and resources. Our super-region boasts the third largest economy in the United States, and seventh largest economy in the world, housing one of the country’s most talented workforces, world-class universities and the U.S. federal government (Greater Washington Partnership). Simultaneously, we face a housing affordability crisis that has no sign of slowing down. The District alone has approximately 39,500 extremely low-income renter households who pay over 30 percent of their income on housing — enough people to fill the Capital One Arena more than three times over (DC Fiscal Policy Institute). To move beyond making incremental progress to address the region’s housing affordability crisis, it will require a concerted effort across sectors and geographic lines working in partnership with the communities HAND members serve. As a leading collective of changemakers bringing diverse expertise, HAND members’ collaboration is critical to bringing communities together where all have an opportunity to thrive. Our membership represents over 450 organizations working in over 20 sectors, representing more than 10 million individuals who reside in the Capital Region. The common thread that unites us is our commitment to the preservation and development of affordable housing. Through a series of educational forums, curated opportunities to cultivate partnerships, and regional housing policy efforts, HAND serves as a CONVENEREDUCATOR and ACTIVATOR for its member collective.

Our History

In 1986, Congress created the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (Housing Credit), which incentivized private developers and investors to play a critical role in creating more affordable housing. Fueled by a mission to serve vulnerable communities, the Housing Credit also allowed nonprofit developers to scale their work in the space. In 1991, John D. Spencer, Senior Vice President of Victory Housing, Inc., launched HAND to equip these practitioners with training and peer-to-peer support by way of monthly brown bag lunch meetings. These informal gatherings laid the foundation for HAND’s Training & Capacity-Building series, providing key guidance to professionals seeking better outcomes for our neighbors. 

What Your Contribution Supports

Our goal is to empower our communities by empowering our HAND collective, whose partnership is critical to the creation and preservation of affordable housing. By increasing our members’ capacity, we equip them with tools to operate more efficiently, create innovative approaches to their work and ultimately build better opportunities for individuals across the region. Today we serve nearly 2,500 members each year through our suite of program offerings. From the traditional trainings that members have valued since the early days, to customized workshops that enhance job performance, to GenerationHAND sessions designed for emerging leaders, HAND is intentional in meeting our members’ greatest needs. In turn, they can leverage the knowledge and partnerships they cultivate into housing, services and programs that benefit our communities.

Looking ahead, HAND recognizes it has an important role in the future of our region. In order to create meaningful change, we must continue to reach beyond the symptoms of inequity to address the root causes that amplify housing disparities and restrict access to opportunity for so many of our communities, but especially communities of color. In early 2019, the organization dedicated itself to using its unique platform to influence affordable housing programs by way of its regional policy activations. Most importantly, HAND has integrated racial equity into its programming for the last several years, and we are more committed now than ever to placing racial equity at the center of all that we do. We stand ready to do this important work, and look forward to the day when all individuals have an opportunity to thrive.

How to Donate

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P.O. Box 48386
Washington, DC 20002

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HAND is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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