Steven Kirk Testifies Before Congress
Rural Neighborhoods’ President, Steven Kirk, testified before Congress in March 2021 before the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations at its Creating Equitable Communities through Transportation and Housing hearing. In answering the question as to how communities best apply a racial equity lens toward equitable development, he answered “no one knows the needs of a neighborhood better than the persons experiencing the struggle.” He noted “our housing and community development work is driven by people of color” citing RN’s diverse board comprised of 40% LatinX, 20% Black and 40% women membership and 90% minority staff. He cautioned elected officials against a rush towards newly formed entities to accelerate equitable housing. Instead, he encouraged proven housing groups to embrace greater racial diversity and to encourage mergers between organizations to blend organization diversity and scale.