The National Housing Trust (NHT) is one of seven nonprofit organizations to receive a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MACEI).

“We were recognized in large part because of the synergy between our policy work and housing work,” says Michael Bodaken, Trust president.

The Washington, D.C.-based organization is unique because it is a leader in both public policy and in developing affordable housing. The Trust’s policy work is informed by the practice of NHT/Enterprise Preservation Corp., an affiliated nonprofit housing developer.

The Trust has acquired, renovated, and preserved more than 25,000 affordable rental homes throughout 41 states and the District of Columbia.

It plans to use its $1 million MacArthur award to create an innovation fund to make strategic investments in new business ventures that will generate revenue for its policy work.

Bodaken’s organization has also been a leader in “green preservation,” advocating for energy efficiency retrofitting of affordable housing. In line with those efforts, the Trust is thinking about investing in models that will help improve the financing of energy-efficient improvement in multifamily properties.

MacArthur, a major funder of affordable housing preservation efforts, is well familiar with the Trust’s work.

It does not seek or accept nominations for the MACEI awards. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur’s core programs.