On March 15, HUD’s Southeast Office of Field Policy and Management under the leadership of Regional Administrator Jose Alvarez, hosted a virtual conference attended by more than 800 housing practitioners and advocates to address challenges and share best practices in affordable housing and homeownership opportunities.
The discussion about housing affordability in the Southeast focused on exploring solutions such as community land trusts and strategies for partnering with landlords. Also, additional topics included myths and realities of the housing market stability, rental housing resources, and an overview of the House America Initiative.
“Homeownership is the principal source of wealth creation for most American households. Unfortunately, several barriers, including housing affordability, hinder individuals from becoming homeowners,” said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Alvarez. “Today’s conference allows HUD and our partners to share valuable information and find solutions to equitable access to the housing market.”
Stakeholder presenters included Joe Savage, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Regional Coordinator; Nancy Lee, Habitat for Humanity SC Executive Director; Eric Garduño, F.L. Apartment Association Government Affairs Director; Thea Craft, N.C. Housing Finance Agency Manager of Community Living Operations; Marshall E. Crawford, Jr., The Housing Fund, Inc. President and CEO; Michele Harston, F.L. Housing Counselor Network Executive Director; Pat Hoban Moore, Miles College Community Development Corp. Executive Director; Dawn Lockhart, City of Jacksonville Director of Strategic Partnerships.
HUD speakers included Richard Cho, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Housing and Services, Office of the Secretary; Director Mark Dominick, Southeast Multifamily; Sheila Jackson, Mississippi Public Housing Director; Rachel Lavelanet, Atlanta Homeownership Center Program Support Division Director; and conference planners, Alesia Scott-Ford, Jacksonville, FL Field Office Director; and Sernorma Mitchell, Nashville, TN Field Office Director.