Lewis & Clark Development Group Executive Director Brent Ekstrom has been named to the National NeighborWorks Association (NNA) Board of Directors.
The Association’s mission is to “unite housing and community development practitioners from across the United States to advocate for housing and economic opportunities for individuals, families, communities, and neighborhoods across the country.”
Over the years, Ekstrom has been heavily involved in NNA, which has included service on the association’s lending committee. He says his board service will be an extension of this involvement as the group works to implement its 2020 advocacy agenda.That agenda focuses primarily on the Neighborhood Reinvestment core congressional appropriation, which supports critical programs such as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), rural housing programs, HUD counseling, and others.
“We are fortunate North Dakota’s congressional delegation understands the importance these programs play in developing our communities,” says Ekstrom. “And the demographic and economic data shows there will be an even greater demand for these programs and our services over the next two decades.”
Ekstrom emphasizes that organizations like LCD Group are often among the most important players in addressing housing and community development needs in rural America.
“We are among the only groups out there with the resources to leverage public and private dollars to meet such challenges,” adds Ekstrom. “We are taking the necessary risks that are getting homes built and helping communities meet some of their most pressing housing and infrastructure needs.”
That is why, beyond working to ensure Neighborhood Reinvestment is funded, Ekstrom says he wants to make sure policymakers fully understand the transformational impact Neighborhood Reinvestment is having.
“It’s not enough to say here’s what we’ve done. We also have to ask policymakers to imagine what happens to these communities if these programs don’t exist.”
Learn more about NNA by visiting its website: www.nnwa.us.