If you asked 100 people for one word that describes 2020, you would probably hear the word "challenging" more than a few times.
There is no denying that the global pandemic has impacted every aspect of this world.
From how and where we conduct our daily work; to the ways in which we stay connected to our families, friends, customers and other social networks, a willingness to embrace change has been essential to surviving the changes that have taken place over the past 15 months. Although some of these changes will fade away as an international vaccination initiative continues to move forward, others are here to stay.
During the early stages of this pandemic when local governments were asking residents to work from home and schools moved to online non-traditional instructions, the inequities that millions in our country face each day were on full display.
Whether it is the huge digital divide that prevents millions of children from receiving a quality education because they lack access to a computer or internet, or the inadequate housing conditions many people are forced to call home, the pandemic and other events has highlighted the fact that there are areas where we need to find a new normal and address some of the inequities that have been exposed.
We founded LDG Development more than 25 years ago based on our shared belief that everyone deserves a quality place to live.
While you would think that such a simple sentiment would be easy to embrace, because of our work in developing more than 17,000 units across the country, we understand better than most that this simply is not true. In fact, on any given development, we spend countless hours responding to concerns from groups that believe their neighborhoods “just are not right for an affordable housing development.” And while the objections are often disguised as concerns regarding traffic, lack of public transportation and other services, we understand that more often than not, these concerns are based on a narrow and biased view of working families and the poor that is rooted in racism and xenophobia.
If this country is going to truly move forward and implement many of the changes that have been called for, then working to make sure everyone has access to quality housing must be a part of the plan. After all, the place someone calls home is the foundation on which all other dreams and hopes are built.
At LDG, we have tried to do our part to bring about some of the changes needed in communities across the country.
Highlights from the past 18 months include:
- Closing on 13 new communities that will produce more than 2,500 units of affordable housing for families across the country.
- Donating $1.2 million in scholarship funding to organizations focused on supporting college-bound students living in Section 8 housing and helping to remove some of the systemic barriers that prevent students from pursuing a post-secondary degree.
- Creating a new property management and residential services organization—Solidago—that is focused on providing our residents with access to a variety of services that can help to improve and enrich their lives.
- Partnering with Louisville-based companies Norton Healthcare and FirstSource to pilot a program that will provide onsite weekly health care services. Through this Initiative, families living at Jefferson Green, and soon, Jefferson’s Landing will not only be eligible to receive services focused on prevention and wellness but will also receive assistance in enrolling in Medicaid and connecting with a primary care physician. Data collected from this effort will help shape our Resident First Initiative which is focused on providing resources and support that can help to enrich the lives of families who call an LDG community home.
- Assisting hundreds of families who experienced a loss in income due to the pandemic remain in their homes.
While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know that it does not begin to address the estimated seven million units that are needed to address this nation’s affordable housing crisis. At LDG, we are in this for the long haul; and have committed ourselves to developing even more communities that families are proud to call home and a workforce that is as diverse as the populations served.
As we prepare to write the next several chapters of LDG’s history, there are many others who deserve the credit for the success we have experienced.
To the political and community leaders, as well as the housing authorities that help us to provide cities with much needed housing, please know that we are honored and humbled that you are partnering with us to provide the communities you represent with quality housing. We do not take the trust you have placed in us for granted.
To the banks, financial institutions and other investors who ensure we have the financial resources needed to move from planning to implementation, we thank you for sharing in our belief that everyone deserves a quality place to live and for investing in housing that can transform a neighborhood.
And, most importantly, to the 150 employees who have made our success possible, we say thank you.
All the accomplishments and milestones LDG Development, Xpert Design and Construction, Rickhaus, and soon, Solidago, have achieved are a direct reflection of your commitment to our work and our founding philosophy that everyone deserves a quality place to live.
And now, onward.