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Affordable housing experts collaborate on solutions at conference

COLUMBUS, OH: Finding an affordable place to live is a struggle faced in cities across the nation. As construction struggles to keep up with growing populations and existing stock ages, housing costs continue to rise, making affordable living unattainable for many.

The Ohio Housing Conference brings together experts from nonprofit, development, government, real estate and related sectors to expand their knowledge on housing industry issues and collaborate to create attainable solutions. The conference will be held November 5-7, 2019 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and is hosted by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.

This year’s conference theme, “Build the Change. Be the Change,” focuses attendees’ attention on the tangible and intangible work within the affordable housing sphere. Sessions cover topics like cybersecurity, fair housing laws, and disaster preparedness. Attendees will attend mobile tours of central Ohio neighborhoods, like Franklinton, a neighborhood seeing a resurgence of business and community development.

The affordable housing shortage is real. OHFA’s annual Housing Needs Assessment outlines that 46% of Ohioans pay more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities, making them cost burdened by their housing expenses. Housing options are limited, with vacancy rates at their lowest levels on record and a high number of aging housing units – two-thirds built before 1980 - making them at-risk of containing lead-based paint. The conference works to empower and educate attendees with tools and resources to tackle these challenges.

“Affordable housing is imperative to the success of Ohioans,” said OHFA Executive Director Sean Thomas. “Having a safe, affordable place to live, or lack thereof, can impact every other area of one’s life. Cost burdens in housing can impact a family’s ability to afford other day-to-day needs. We can work together to resolve the housing challenges facing Ohioans.”

This year’s attendees will be inspired by a message of perseverance and hope from keynote speaker, Alton Fitzgerald White, a critically acclaimed actor and Broadway star, grew up in public housing as the youngest of seven. The conference will also feature the popular Women in the Affordable Housing Industry session with a focus on race and gender equity, as well as the Housing Policy Plenary focused on current housing policy challenges and trends.

“This conference continues to provide exceptional training, education and networking opportunities for industry professionals,” said OCCH President and CEO Peg Moertl. “We’re proud to work with OHFA in educating attendees and ensuring our industry has the knowledge to support Ohioans in need.”

Each year, the Ohio Housing Conference brings together nearly 1,700 attendees from all sectors of the housing industry. Attendees have access to more than 40 sessions and workshops focused on educating and inspiring work in affordable housing.

 

 

 
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Revised: 11/05/19 20:01:48 -0800.

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