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POAH Statement on Racial Justice

June 4, 2020

Protest sign

It has been an extremely disturbing and horrific 10 days for the country in response to the murder of George Floyd last Monday and other recent killings of Black Americans.

These tragic killings once again expose deep racial disparities and systemic racism, not only in policing tactics, but in health care, employment, education, and housing.  It comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and record unemployment, which has had a disproportionate impact on people of color and minority communities.

Our hearts go out to all of our staff and residents, particularly Black staff and residents, who are feeling angry, frustrated or sad.  We also recognize that many members of our community may feel retraumatized based on their own lived experiences over many decades.  We see you. We support you. We stand with you.

At the same time, we are hopeful when we see that the sustained and peaceful protests across the country have drawn the support of all races, ages, ethnic backgrounds, and political affiliations.  It’s this outpouring of widespread concern that can lead to meaningful policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels.

As a non-profit affordable housing provider our core mission is to create quality housing opportunities and resident services, to advocate for stronger fair housing policies, and to undertake community development strategies that lift up low-income and minority communities.  Progress in these areas also requires a greater national commitment to social justice called for by many of the protestors.

We must continue to use our platform to advocate for racial justice, to invest in Black and other minority-owned business and contractors, to amplify the voices of our residents and community members, and to stand in solidarity with our community partners across the country. We have always been in this work for the long term and we are recommitting to that promise today.