It may not be the loudest issue this political season, but those who care about affordable housing made sure it secured a seat at the table at this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.  

Amid all the headlines catching the nation’s attention at the 2016 GOP Convention, the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families is making sure housing gets its due share.

On Tuesday afternoon, the second day of the convention, the Terwilliger Foundation hosted a benefit concert to support Make Room, a nonprofit initiative that seeks to elevate rental housing on the national policy agenda.  

Before the event, Terwilliger Foundation Executive Committee members Frank Keating, former Governor of Oklahoma, and Rick Lazio, former U.S. Representative for N.Y., said, “We hope to deliver a forceful message that inaction and indifference are not acceptable responses to the crisis in rental housing.”

“Despite the significance of housing to all of our lives, the issue has received far too little attention during the presidential campaign and in Washington,” they said. “In Cleveland, we will be doing our best to raise the volume on America’s rental affordability crisis. If we keep the drumbeat going long enough, we are confident our message will finally get through.”

The Terwilliger Foundation explained that the event was created to draw greater attention to the rental housing affordability crisis and make it part of the campaign conversation.

Co-Sponsors of the event included the Mortgage Bankers Association, Bellwether Enterprise, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, National Multifamily Housing Council, PNC, and Habitat for Humanity. HousingWire is a media partner for the Foundation.

Twitter captured some of the action.

American Idol finalist and country music artist, Ayla Brown, who is the daughter of Terwilliger Foundation colleague, former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, on stage at the benefit.

Pam Brill tweeted about how full the event was, along with several key visitors and speakers.

Ali Solis, senior vice president of public policy and corporate affairs at Enterprise Community Partners, and Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, were also tweeting at the event.

Other speakers at the event included:

Angela Boyd is managing director of Make Room and vice president at Enterprise Now.

Bonus: This wasn’t the only housing news that was brought to light during the convention. On Monday night, the Republican Party approved its 2016 party platform, which is explained here.

(Photo credit: Joseph Sohm /

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