Inspiring Women in Affordable Housing

Click here to view the original article on Affordable housing finance.

Ashley Northcutt

The Women’s Affordable Housing Network (WAHN) is making big moves.

Committed to the empowerment and development of women who work in affordable housing, WAHN is in a major growth phase. The network hopes to add 18 more chapters this year, bringing the total to 27 across the country. Central to the group’s ambitious plans is national president Ashley Northcutt, a 15-year veteran of the affordable housing industry with extensive knowledge of real estate and nonprofit taxation, low-income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, and cost segregation studies. She recently left her role as a tax partner at Tidwell Group to focus full time on WAHN.

“It’s definitely a passion,” Northcutt says. “It’s passion, and it’s the people I’m able to meet. I feel grateful every day that I connect with women and our allies across the country.”

In January alone, she received more than 50 calendar invitations from people wanting to touch base or know more about WAHN. The organization’s explosive growth is one reason it needed Northcutt to come in on a full-time basis, but it’s not the only one.

The network leaders have launched several other initiatives that will take shape this year. Dedicated to diversity and inclusion, they recently started an Ally Committee to get men involved and created the James Cromartie Active Ally Award to honor male allies.

They’ve also launched a college campus initiative to introduce students to career opportunities in affordable housing. WAHN is also working on an internship program to help foster the next generation of leaders. Many people working in the field today didn’t know affordable housing was an industry until after college, notes Northcutt.

That’s not all. WAHN has its sights set on developing a podcast and hosting its own conference in May 2024.

Northcutt will play a key role in all these plans.

BuzzHouse: Celebrating women in affordable housing with Women’s Affordable Housing Network

View the full article and listen to the podcast here.

Baker Tilly’s podcast series specifically for professionals in the multifamily housing industry.

On this episode of BuzzHouse, hosts Don Bernards and Garrick Gibson are celebrating Women’s History Month with the Women’s Affordable Housing Network’s (WAHN) National President, Ashley Northcutt, and Baker Tilly Director Nuwandi Trahan, who also serves on the board of WAHN. WAHN is an organization committed to amending the gender barrier in affordable housing. Ashley and Nuwandi discuss the important work WAHN does, why such an organization is needed in the affordable housing space and what goals they’re aiming for in the future. They also touch on some of the benefits of being a WAHN member and share their individual journeys within the industry.

Special guest

Ashley Northcutt, President, and CEO | Women’s Affordable Housing Network

Ashley Northcutt is the President of National Women’s Affordable Housing Network (WAHN), a 501(c)(3) organization focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. WAHN provides support to and empowers women working in the industry with intentional connection, education and active allyship. Northcutt left her job as Tax Partner at an accounting firm that specialized in the Affordable Housing industry in December 2022 due to the growth of WAHN. She specialized in the areas of real estate taxation, not-for-profit organizations and affordable housing. Northcutt is deeply committed to serving historically underrepresented communities and advocates for fair and equitable housing practices and policies.

Nuwandi Trahan, Director | Baker Tilly

Nuwandi is a director with Baker Tilly who has been with the firm since 2018. She has more than 15 years of public accounting experience. She works primarily with real estate owners, operators, developers, public housing authorities, public-private partnerships, syndicators, and investors. Nuwandi has extensive experience in audit, assurance and consulting engagements focused on the real estate industry. She specializes in evaluating financial controls and financial statement audits of real estate owners, developers, and public housing authorities. She also serves on the board of WAHN.