Housing Opportunity Working Group to feature global fair housing advocate

Judith Hermanson

Next Tuesday afternoon at the Public Policy Meetings in East Peoria, Judith Hermanson will be the featured speaker during the Housing Opportunity Working Group session.

Hermanson, the president and CEO of the nonprofit organization, IHC Global, advocates for equitable international urban development because of the positive effects that development can have in areas of safety, security, health, quality of life, sustainability and equality. IHC Global provides information and potential solutions to decision-makers, policy makers and urban planners, knowing that more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas.

“Housing is an indicator of growth and prosperity, and is a key driver,” says Hermanson. “IHC Global also believes that in order for the housing market to really work well, it has to address all points on the income spectrum (in other words, meet different levels of demand) and offer a range of secure tenure options.”

In October 2016, Hermanson participated in discussions at the United Nations’ Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador. Participants developed a non-binding vision document for cities and nation states to use as a guide for housing opportunities and policies that support and enhance equitable urban development. That document is called the New Urban Agenda.

IHC Global was founded as the International Housing Coalition in 2005, with the National Association of REALTORS®, the Canadian Real Estate Association and Habitat for Humanity as initial sponsors. But since then, many other organizations have joined the coalition. She’s proud of the heritage of the organization and where it’s headed.

“IHC Global believes a lot can be learned from sharing different perspectives, policies and practices across borders,” she says. “Even if things look different in different cities, different countries, often underlying challenges are similar!  Access to housing finance for example!”

Prior to joining IHC Global, Hermanson was deputy executive director and chief operating officer for the Pan American Development Foundation in Washington, D.C. Before that, she served as the inaugural director for the Center for Nongovernmental Organizations Leadership and Development at Northern Illinois University. As the director and as a professor of public administration, the center helped prepare individuals to handle complex global issues through academic degree programs, non-degree programs, research and civic engagement.


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