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A Note from Karlo Ng
I began my career at NHLP when I joined the staff as the first David B. Bryson Fellow in 2011. Thanks to the Memorial Fund supporters for that incredible opportunity which launched me on this professional journey. I’m sharing my personal story with you in hopes that my experience gives deeper meaning to the way that NHLP’s work helps families and that it demonstrates why your support of the David Bryson and Sylvia Brennan Memorial Funds is so important.
NHLP’s work is especially significant to me. From first-hand experience, I know how a decent, affordable home serves as a springboard to a multiplicity of improved life opportunities. I grew up in a quality public housing complex in Boston’s Chinatown. Living there allowed me to attend a good elementary school in my neighborhood and provided my parents with access to crucial social and health services. These opportunities later paved the way for me to attend a magnet high school and also allowed my mother to meet a tenacious community organizer, who helped her find her first job as a bilingual school teacher. Years after leaving our home in public housing, I became a tenants’ rights advocate and began my own fight to advance housing justice. I worked to stave off luxury developments in Chinatown that offered few benefits to the existing community and at the same time, threatened to eliminate affordable rental units.
As an advocate, I learned that NHLP played an important role in preserving the affordability of the homes in my childhood neighborhood when the new owner wanted to convert the complex to market-rate housing. As a result of NHLP’s and other advocates’ work, many of my relatives, who were new immigrants, had access to decent, affordable housing and benefited from the same neighborhood resources that helped me and my family. Such efforts, to advance the housing security of families on the margins, were the life’s work of David Bryson and Sylvia Brennan. It has become my work as well and as a permanent member of the NHLP staff, I’ve continued working to increase housing access for immigrant families and people with limited English proficiency. I’ve also expanded my focus, becoming a leading national expert on the housing rights of survivors of domestic violence and I was pleased to provide help to Congressional leaders on needed improvements to survivors’ housing protections in 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
With your support, we enlist new advocates to join in these efforts and continue David’s and Sylvia’s legacies.