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.