Housing Solutions Summit Brings Together over 60 Leaders

May 29, 2024

Earlier this month at our Health and Housing Solutions Summit, Lutheran Services in America united 60 leaders, including members from our Housing Solutions Collaborative, with industry experts, policymakers, church and thought leaders from across the country. Over two days, we deeply explored and exchanged ideas and opportunities around three framing questions:

  • What is the housing crisis we are seeing in our communities?
  • What is or can be unique about the Lutheran response, and
  • What shared solutions can we unite around to strengthen our response on a local and national level?

The two days included:

  • 41 Lutheran Services in America Housing Solutions Collaborative leaders from 20 organizations who together manage nearly $2 billion in assets, including strong portfolios in affordable housing.
  • 3 founding members of the Lutheran Services in America Housing Leadership Circle, supporting and committing to exploring innovative products, services and partnerships to advance our shared goals.
  • Interactive solutioning sessions designed to dive deeper into promising practices across the network and the broader Lutheran community led by our partner and housing thought leader, Jeff Lubell of Abt Global.
  • An A-list of federal, state and local policymakers and experts including Assistant HUD Secretary Julia Gordon to inform opportunities to shape future efforts.
  • Exploration of our shared strengths including a whole person and community centered approach and the opportunity for a focused alignment with a broader eco system of church partners, schools, financial institutions and other resources and expertise.
  • Advocacy training, messaging and Hill visits with 21 policy makers. These included meetings with committee staff for Chairs and Ranking Members (minority party leaders) for key committees.

What happens next? Through the Housing Solutions Collaborative we will advance tangible actions and opportunities. Initial areas of focus include:

  • Flexible funding streams. We will work with our partners to build pathways to new and flexible sources of funding in the coming year.
  • Scale and replication. Our Housing Solutions Collaborative will continue to be a place to provide peer-to-peer dialog and we will formalize effective ways to identify and scale promising practices.
  • Amplify our united faith-based voice. We will grow our collective capacity to lead and effect change as a trusted presence in communities.

It was a powerful two days of commitment, passion, possibility and capability!

United, we are taking action together as one of the largest faith-based provider networks; we have the reach, we have the expertise and we have the responsibility.

If you missed our Summit, but are interested in joining our work, please contact Susan Newton at snewton@lutheranservices.org.

Alesia Frerichs is the President & CEO of Lutheran Services in America.