Affordable Housing Finance profiled 10 women who’ve shaped the industry, including NEF’s Debbie Burkart. The piece highlights her work on behalf of homeless veterans and her leadership of Bring Them HOMES. Says Burkart, “It has been important to me, someone who has benefited from a safety net, to build one for others who have not.”
This excerpt below is from:
Women Who Are Making a Difference
By Donna Kimura and Christine Serlin, Affordable Housing Finance
...Debbie Burkart has helped finance thousands of affordable homes for special-needs residents across the country.
National vice president of supportive housing at the National Equity Fund (NEF), she has steered more than $800 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity to developments serving veterans, homeless, and disabled individuals.
A passionate advocate for veterans housing, Burkart also serves as the director of Bring Them HOMES, an initiative launched by the Local Initiatives Support Corp. and NEF in 2012 in partnership with Citi Community Development, MetLife Foundation, and Northrop Grumman. Since then, the effort has raised $4.3 million, which includes $4 million in grants, to help build more than 60 developments with approximately 4,300 homes for homeless veterans and their families.
“Life is unpredictable and brings moments of suffering. No one is immune,” says Burkart. “We gather strength from our community and family to overcome life’s challenges. But not everyone has the same support network. It has been important to me, someone who has benefited from a safety net, to build one for others who do not, for any number of reasons, have access to a supportive community. To build housing where people can heal and receive services or design supports in their units to help them live independently again. Our veterans who have suffered, persons who are born or develop disabilities, I have seen healed by living in supportive housing and find hope again.” Continued[+]...