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Grounded Solutions Network Housing Conference: Policy. Practice. Power


Grounded Solutions Network’s Housing Conference is back! Mark your calendar and plan to join us in Washington, D.C. May 9-11, 2022.

So much has happened since we last gathered together, and despite the array of unexpected challenges, our work remains steadfast. 

This is why we chose our 2022 theme: Policy. Practice. Power. This two-day conference will demonstrate how we can continue to make our cities and regions more equitable and inclusive through innovative housing policies, thoughtful housing programs and foundational organizing and community-led solutions.

This conference is the only national event dedicated to racially equitable housing solutions with affordability that lasts for generations. We invite you to join 600 of the nation’s most creative, dedicated and talented housing and community development professionals, advocates and funders as we chart a collective course towards making the communities in which we live more racially just.

Here are a few exciting highlights of what is in store for our two days of Policy, Practice and Power! Tuesday morning, we’ll kick things off with a powerful keynote address from Brookings Institute Senior Fellow and author of Know Your Price, Andre Perry. Next is an exciting plenary session featuring the CEO Circle, an informal network of national nonprofit leaders, discussing the key transformational changes needed to advance housing with lasting affordability for racial and economic justice. A round of concurrent breakout sessions follows, featuring our network members and partners exploring work toward the twin goals of racial and health equity, creating and implementing inclusive housing policies and practitioners who are intentionally pursuing greater scale. Several mobile community tour options are sure to be a highlight with stops to experience what lasting affordability with equitable impact looks like in practice. 

We’ll be on the ground with the Douglass Community Land Trust in the Anacostia neighborhood, visit one of the nation’s first inclusionary housing programs in Montgomery County, MD and learn about other metropolitan area efforts to preserve and create housing with 99-year affordability. Wednesday begins with a legislative breakfast, followed by a plenary session exploring how we can increase homeownership access for people of color with various policy interventions such as Special Purpose Credit Programs. Subsequent concurrent breakouts will include topics related to increasing access to land and capital for lasting affordability and a closing plenary where you’ll have an opportunity to tell us about your ideas and how we can all work together in the pursuit of policy, practice and power for lasting affordability at scale. Stay tuned for a more detailed agenda coming soon!

1:00pm – 8:00pm

Registration Open

6:00pm- 8:00pm

Opening Reception (appetizers served)

8:00am – 5:00pm

Registration Open

8:00am – 9:00am

Continental breakfast in the foyer

9:00am – 10:30am

Andre Perry: Keynote Address 

Mr. Perry’s recent scholarship at Brookings Institute has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on issues of race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion via valuable assets worthy of increased investment. He will introduce and explore our theme, Policy. Practice. Power., and discuss housing with lasting affordability as a critical component for advancing structural changes in the housing market. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Tony Pickett, Grounded Solutions Network 
  • Andre Perry, Brookings Institute 

10:30am – 11:00am

Coffee break in the foyer

11:00am – 12:30pm

Diverse Leadership in Action: A Conversation with Members of the CEO of Color Circle 

Hear how members of the CEO of Color Circle have been leading—and succeeding— over the last two years while challenged by continuing uncertainty and difficult circumstances. Panelists will share their reflections on how leaders of color are intentionally shaping the future to achieve greater housing equity and inclusive community development nationwide. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Tony Pickett, Grounded Solutions Network 
  • Akilah Watkins, Center for Community Progress 
  • Lisa Rice, National Fair Housing Alliance 
  • Calvin Gladney, Smart Growth America

12:30pm – 2:00pm

Lunch (boxed lunches provided)

2:00pm – 3:30pm

(Concurrent breakouts)


Investing in Housing to Create Health 

Research shows access to safe, affordable housing supports people’s physical and mental health. The health care system has an important role in connecting patients to housing, but our affordable housing programs themselves need substantial additional resources. Learn how and why healthcare investments can support CLTs and shared equity models and what can be done to create a healthcare system partnership of your own. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Doug Jutte, Build Healthy Places Network 
  • John Smith, Dudley Neighbors, Inc. 
  • Ben Bynum, Colorado Health Foundation
  • Andy McMahon, United Healthcare
  • Gina Patterson. Boston Medical Center 

Innovations for Scale 

Piloting an innovation often starts small but the intention is to rapidly scale up. In this session, learn about some of the exciting innovations that shared-equity programs are piloting—like using ADUs and manufactured housing—and the vision for how they will contribute to more units on the ground. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Shanti Abedin, NeighborWorks 
  • Julie Curtin, Champlain Housing Trust 
  • Kaia Peterson, NeighborWorks Montana 
  • Sherry Taylor, Durham Community Land Trustees 

Advancing Equity through Public Investments 

Public funds and land are scarce, yet critical, resources that can contribute to regional inclusivity or exclusion. When local governments and public agencies adopt equity frameworks to guide their investments, they create opportunities to address historic and current racial injustices. Hear about specific initiatives and projects that are flipping the script on how public resources are typically invested and how they are leading to more equitable outcomes. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Hala Farid, Austin Department of Housing and Planning 

2:00pm – 5:00pm

(Tours- must select and register in advance)

Washington, DC Tour 

Get to know DC beyond the monuments and soundbites– hear how Douglass CLT members are Paying It Forward in some of the more than 130 neighborhoods of the Douglass Commonwealth. Visit with resident leaders at sites representing a spectrum of projects in the Douglass CLT portfolio, including limited equity housing cooperatives, large multi-family apartments, rentals with a planned conversion to ownership, along with new construction ownership.   

Montgomery County Tour 

Join staff from Montgomery County, Maryland— one of the oldest and largest inclusionary housing programs in the nation— on a tour of affordable housing properties in Silver Spring, Maryland. Learn how they have leveraged county-land for a senior housing development, see a major new mixed-use development on the site of a former public housing project, visit a few of the County’s more than 6,000 current for-sale and rental inclusionary zoning MPDUs.  

Northern Virginia Tour 

Hop over the Potomac River to Northern Virginia to see firsthand how the Amazon Housing Equity Fund is supporting developers, nonprofits, and local governments to bring needed long-term housing affordability to the region. We’ll visit several projects that Amazon has funded to learn how private-sector companies can partner with communities to create and protect inclusive, affordable places to live. 

8:00am – 1:30pm

Registration Open

8:00am – 9:00am

Continental breakfast in the foyer

8:00am – 10:00am

Legislative Breakfast 

The Affordable housing crisis, and the role that community land trusts and other shared equity models can play to advance racial equity, is gaining attention from leaders of Congress like never before. Join us for a sit-down breakfast with Congressional members (pending schedules), Board Chair, Akilah Watkins, and Grounded Solutions’ national policy staff to learn how housing with lasting affordability fits into federal policy priorities and proposed legislation.  

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Akilah Watkins, Center for Community Progress 
  • Emily Thaden, Grounded Solutions Network 
  • Richard Montgomery, Grounded Solutions Network

10:00am – 10:30am

Coffee break in the foyer

10:30am – 12:00pm

Increasing Access to Homeownership for Households of Color  

Increasing access to homeownership for households of color require addressing discrimination in our housing systems and meaningful public policy intervention. Experts in this plenary will discuss plans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase access to financing and address equity, special purpose credit programs, racial bias in appraisals, and a host of federal bills aimed to serve communities of color and create or preserve homeownership opportunities, including shared equity homeownership. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Tony Pickett, Grounded Solutions Network 
  • Lisa Rice, National Fair Housing Alliance 
  • Kristin Siglin, National Community Stabilization Trust 

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30pm – 3:00pm

(Concurrent breakouts)


Positioning for Growth: An Update from the Catalytic Land Cohort

Grounded Solutions Network’s Catalytic Land Cohort is about scaling up the pipeline of land and resources for lasting affordability. Hear from representatives from community land trusts in Houston, Atlanta and Portland about how they are identifying bottlenecks and barriers in their affordable housing ecosystems and positioning themselves for inclusive growth. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Krysta Pate, The Homeownership Initiative Consulting, LLC 
  • Diane Linn, Proud Ground 
  • Ashley Allen, Houston Community Land Trust 
  • Amanda Rhein, Atlanta Land Trust

Financing Housing with Lasting Affordability: Lessons Learned, Innovations, and Future Directions 

Innovative and flexible capital can play a critical role in expanding housing with lasting affordability. However, there can be a host of challenges with financing these deals. Learn from those who have succeeded at providing needed financing in this space and hear about future directions where innovative capital could yield a greater impact on expanding housing with lasting affordability. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Priya Jayachandran, National Housing Trust 
  • Emily Thaden, Grounded Solutions Network 
  • Michael Monte, Champlain Housing Trust 

Growing Cities, Fostering Inclusion 

Nationally, there is a 7.3 million home shortage. Producing more housing, especially in high-opportunity areas, is critical for addressing the housing crisis. Yet, focusing on production alone will not make our cities more equitable. In this session, learn about the multitude of policy interventions that should be considered when pursuing equitable growth. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Andreanecia Morris, HousingNOLA 
  • Jacob Noonan, City of San Rafael 

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Coffee Break

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Closing Plenary: Policy. Practice. Power. 

For many, this has been an unbelievably challenging few years. And for some, this conference is the first in-person experience with old and new colleagues since the start of the pandemic.  To commemorate this milestone, we will close the conference by holding space to talk to one another and reflect on what themes and ideas from the event (and beyond) resonate most as we collectively chart a course forward. 

Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Miguel Gavaldon, Independent Consultant 
  • Dr. Germaine Smith Baugh, Urban League of Broward County
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