Ashon Nesbitt named new CEO of Florida Housing Coalition
Board Chooses Experienced Affordable Housing Expert to lead Statewide Organization
The Florida Housing Coalition, the state’s leading nonprofit provider of training and technical assistance dedicated to affordable housing, announced that Ashon Nesbitt has been named CEO effective January 1st. Nesbitt succeeds Jaimie Ross, the Coalition’s long-time President and CEO, who announced her retirement last June.
As Florida’s premier statewide mission-based housing organization on everything from ending homelessness to first-time homeownership, the Coalition provides training, consulting, and technical assistance to government and community-based organizations involved in producing and preserving housing for the workforce and Florida’s most vulnerable populations.
After Ross announced her retirement, the Board engaged a CEO search consultant to conduct a national search for qualified candidates. Out of a pool of 300 applicants from across the country, six top candidates were interviewed, and the Board of the Coalition unanimously chose Mr. Nesbitt.
“Speaking on behalf of our entire board, I could not be more pleased that Ashon will be the new head of the Coalition,” said Suzanne Cabrera, Chair of the Coalition Board. “His extensive experience in housing financing and development, his vision and professionalism and his championship of all our major initiatives make him the best choice. Ashon is known for building partnerships across public and private, for-profit and nonprofit sectors – he has the right combination of leadership skills, policy expertise, and commitment to affordable housing to lead the Coalition.”
A respected community and nonprofit leader, Mr. Nesbitt is currently Chief Programs Officer and Technical Advisor with the Coalition where he has led the Community Land Trust Institute as well as the Center for Racial Equity. During his tenure at the Coalition, Nesbitt has championed an expansion and professionalization of Community Land Trusts throughout the state, overseeing the development of nationally recognized and first of its kind the Community Land Trust Certification Program, which in 2021, led to six nonprofits receiving their Certification. Mr. Nesbitt is the author of the Coalition’s innovative guidebook: Eyesore to Asset: A Guidebook for Adaptive Reuse of Vacant Retail, designed to aid local governments and business leaders in their search for new models for local economic development. Eyesore to Asset details how vacant retail spaces can be used to bolster not only workforce housing, but support small, startup, entrepreneurs as well. Two years in the making, the guidebook’s genesis was born out of the Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (The Challenge) awarded by Fannie Mae to the Coalition in 2018.
Prior to joining the Coalition, Mr. Nesbitt was Project Manager for an affordable multifamily housing developer, Blue Sky Communities, in Tampa, managing projects at various levels for a total of nearly $90 million invested, with an emphasis on acquisition and rehabilitation in partnership with nonprofit organizations. Mr. Nesbitt also served as an Asset Manager and Underwriter for Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, with duties focused on investor yield maintenance, tax credit delivery and program compliance. Mr. Nesbitt also understands first-hand the needs of local government housing administrators, having managed Alachua County’s SHIP Down Payment Assistance Program, CDBG Home Rehabilitation program, and conducted Homebuyer Education classes for a two-year period.
Mr. Nesbitt has two Masters Degrees from the University of Florida; a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and a Masters in Real Estate. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from Florida A&M University.
As CEO, Mr. Nesbitt will lead all of the Coalition’s housing affordability production and preservation initiatives. “There is no doubt, we are in a housing affordability crisis in Florida. We need to work together closely with our statewide members and our Partners for Better Housing to implement strategies which will strengthen Florida’s affordable housing production and preservation,” stated Mr. Nesbitt. “It’s exciting to be a part of the Coalition’s next chapter, and I look forward to working with our talented Board and staff as we further build successful strategies and champion housing affordability best practices.”
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As you can see from the above Impact Report, significant advances have been made on so many affordable housing fronts, all thanks to the continued investment of our Partners for Better Housing.
To help our members sort through Hurricane Ian materials and all other housing news updates and training opportunities, we will send two Member Updates every Monday. The regular Member Update will be delivered at 9:15 a.m. on Mondays. The Florida Housing Coalition’s Disaster Team will produce a stand-alone digest of news and notices geared specifically for housing recovery efforts for Hurricane Ian. The Hurricane Ian Recovery Digest will be delivered at 10a.m every Monday. Additionally, please make sure and attend our weekly Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Webinar every Friday at 1:30.
Special thanks to our Hurricane Ian Recovery Partner for Better Housing Wells Fargo.
West Palm Beach Launches Community Engagement Web Platform to Gather Community Feedback on Closing the Gap: Investing in Black Homeownership
In conjunction with the Center for Racial Equity at the Florida Housing Coalition, the City of West Palm Beach has launched the community engagement phase of its 24-month program designed to provide the city with an opportunity to embark on a comprehensive, systems-change effort towards closing the racial gap in homeownership by revealing historical patterns of discrimination that may lead to racial inequalities. As of 2020, the homeownership rate for Black residents in West Palm Beach is still much lower than white homeownership rates at 40.3% compared to 56.7%. As a participant of Closing the Gap, the city will identify and implement strategies to reduce these racial disparities in homeownership. The program involves an Equity Profile to identify historical patterns of discrimination and present strategies for furthering racial equity efforts. The City is inviting community members to join the conversation, at Closing The Gap: Contribute West Palm Beach to share their story.
The Closing the Gap: Contribute West Palm Beach is the first public engagement web platform launched from Florida Housing Coalition’s new program FHC Connect, that looks to provide best-in-class community engagement tools. The Coalition recognizes that community outreach has changed, particularly since the pandemic, and now provides progressive outreach methods to maximize citizen participation. FHC Connect is an all-in-one community engagement platform offering a set of comprehensive tools and widgets to collect stakeholder input and data. The platform allows clients to have a webpage dedicated to their project that features multiple ways to engage in one location. The platform has proven to increase participation and significantly streamlines the process. For more information on our FHC Connect Community Engagement Program, contact Carter Burton, Director of Housing and Community Development at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With NLIHC Grant Florida Housing Coalition Aims to Help 32 Local Governments Deploy ERAP Funds
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is leading a national effort to assist local governments to deploy hundreds of millions of dollars provided through the U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to help tenants, especially the most marginalized populations, facing evictions due to COVID. The Florida Housing Coalition is thrilled to have been chosen as a NLIHC state partner to carry out this work in Florida though the NLIHC’s Ending Rental Arrears to Stop Evictions (ERASE) project. With this grant, the Coalition will facilitate information-sharing and best practices workshops and provide technical assistance to the 32 local governments in Florida that administer ERAP funds. If you are a local government staff member or nonprofit working to deploy ERAP or otherwise working to facilitate the ERAP program within these 32 local governments, please email email@example.com with ERAP in the subject line. The next workshop is October 14th at 1:30p.m. RSVP
New Guidebook Helps AHAC’s & Local Government Staff
The Florida Housing Coalition is proud to announce the release of a new guidebook essential for Affordable Housing Advisory Committees (AHAC). Regulatory reform and a program of incentives are powerful tools for attracting private-sector development of affordable housing. Every city and county that receives funding from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program is statutorily required to assemble an AHAC for this purpose. The core requirement of the AHAC is to recommend housing strategies to incentivize the production of affordable housing. This newly revised guidebook addresses the AHAC process from forming the committee, through submitting its report, to annually evaluating implementation. It provides information on the specific incentive strategies that the AHAC is required to consider. It also provides examples from AHAC Reports and offers best practices for engaging in policy discussions and developing implementation strategies. View and download this publication here.
This publication is ideal for:
- AHAC Members
- Local Government Planning Staff
- SHIP Administrators
- Local Government Administrators and Elected Officials
- Affordable Housing Stakeholders
Learn Best Practices
Whether you are an experienced housing professional, an advocate, a non-profit housing provider, or new to the field — our weekly webinars, online training courses, and in-depth consultations can make you more effective at your job, and a better advocate for affordable housing in your community.
The Florida Housing Coalition’s mission is to bring together housing advocates and resources so that all Floridians have a home that is affordable in a suitable living environment.
In every Florida community there is an ethic to ensure all members of that community, including the most vulnerable and low income, can live in a home of that person’s own choosing that is affordable to them, and that each community has at least one community-based organization with the capacity to play an important role in delivering housing and related services in that community.
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The Florida Housing Coalition is commonly acknowledged as the foremost authority in Florida for providing training and technical assistance on everything related to affordable housing, from ending homelessness to first time homeownership. We provide consulting services at the local level, and we advocate at the state and national levels for people in need of affordable homes.
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