History of NAHT
Tenants formed NAHT because we realized that if we wanted to speak for ourselves on a national level, we needed our own national organization. Founded in 1991, NAHT is the first national membership organization of resident groups. NAHT connects most of the organized HUD tenant groups across the country, including as many as 46 active local HUD tenant coalitions or organizing projects in as many as 30 states, and provides an organized forum for them to share ideas and information.
Since its inception, NAHT has pursued a four-part strategy to win tenant-friendly HUD policies and improvements to housing preservation and disposition laws:
- the “Save Our Homes Campaign”,
- establishment and institutionalization of tenant’s Right To Organize,
- the “Organize the Unorganized” campaign, and
- Access & Reform at HUD
Some have been groundbreaking accomplishments especially in reference to HUD and its policies. Through NAHT, tenants have proven that united action can mount an effective campaign to save people’s homes. NAHT’s history is best told through its long list of accomplishments.
Click the links in the list below to view NAHT’s accomplishments in that area.
- Save Our Homes Campaign
- Right To Organize
- Organize the Unorganized
- Access & Reform at HUD
- Held unprecedented regular meetings with top HUD officials in Washington to make HUD programs work better for tenants
- The first-ever publication by HUD, in January 2002, of “fact sheets” for tenants and owners detailing income deductions and exclusions which tenants are entitled to. HUD published the fact sheets, posted them on HUD’s web site, and distributed them to owners and management agents. In addition, HUD instructed owners to distribute the appropriate “fact sheets” to tenants at income recertification each year.
- Initiated “Eyes and Ears” meetings between Washington HUD officials and local tenant groups, winning local improvements and making HUD’s bureaucracy more responsive to tenants.
- NAHT involvement in Field Office training. NAHT then-President Louise Sanchez participated in HUD Satellite Training to Field Offices on compliance with HUD Notice requirements when owners opt out. HUD agreed to include NAHT tenant leaders in future satellite training on tenants rights and other topics.
- National Tenant Union
- Created a national tenant union governed by an all-tenant Board, with an annual Conference in Washington, D.C., a “Network” of local affiliates which meets bi-monthly, and twelve national Issue Task Forces.
- NAHT has joined the International Union of Tenants and the Habitat International Coalition fighting for the Right to Housing for all