On November 17th, the affordable housing and community development industry was saddened by the loss of one of its stalwart champions, Rick Cohen. Having held leadership positions at organizations such as Enterprise Foundation (now Enterprise Community Partners) under James Rouse, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy, Rick had an intrinsic understanding and a profound commitment for our industry.
“Rick is the person who hired me at Enterprise Community Partners back in 1992. I never laughed so hard in a job interview. Rick was an absolute delight with a first-rate intellect. His insightful analyses and forceful leadership did so much to advance the cause of affordable housing and to advocate for practical and equitable solutions,” said Maryann Dillon, president, HAND. “He will be so sorely missed.”
During recent years, Rick supported the industry through the written word. Writing for Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) magazine and other trade and mainstream publications, he won numerous awards for his journalistic pieces and recognized for his books, op-eds and reports, including Call the Question: Will the Greater Washington Region Collaborate and Invest to Solve Its Affordable Housing Shortage? , which he presented at the 24th HAND Annual Meeting & Housing Expo this past June.
“Rick exuded warmth. He was always friendly, always interested, always ready to have the real conversations about how to move the industry and our communities forward,” said Heather Raspberry, HAND executive director. “He was a friend to all.”
For more information on Rick’s life and accomplishments, go to NPQ’s tribute page.