Eric Burmeister Has the Floor

Adapting to a new normal

Eric Burmeister Has the Floor

Thanks to our board’s leadership and the work of staff, PCHTF is seen as an organization that is strategic, forward-thinking and the first to investigate and advocate for creative policy responses to our region’s housing challenges.  It makes me proud that we have become that “go-to organization” that the 2011 Board of Directors wished for in my first Strategic Planning exercise as the newly named Executive Director. 

In light of today’s extraordinary circumstances, PCHTF decided to pivot our emphasis on policy matters and quickly refocus our mission and energies on the potential impact of COVID-19. We need to be accessible to our friends on the front line to assist our neighbors who are caught in this crisis and face the very real possibility of homelessness, illness or death. PCHTF must now be even more strategic with the allocation of our financial resources.

This month, the PCHTF Board of Directors approved a recommendation to change the way we allocate our 2020/21 service support dollars to ensure that our program partners are able to serve those most housing-vulnerable and, as important, to make sure their programs can be sustained through the crisis. Our community needs these programs to be strong when we come out the other side.

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund has established an emergency fund of $100,000 to quickly address financial issues faced by local housing program providers that are already under contract with PCHTF or Principal Financial Foundation due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

In making these funds available to our providers, the PCHTF is fulfilling its mission to provide strategic leadership, expertise and resources to strengthen our community through this difficult time. We’re grateful for your support and will continue our efforts to ensure that every person in Polk County has the ability to remain in safe, stable and affordable housing.