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"Partners in Innovation" Policy Forum Discusses Preserving Affordable Rental Housing while Expanding Transit

National Housing Conference and MacArthur Foundation Series Brought Leaders Together Nationwide to Preserve Affordable Rental Housing

Denver, CO (September 28, 2010) More than 200 federal, state and local leaders met in Denver today to discuss how cities with rapidly expanding transit are balancing that growth with the preservation of affordable rental housing. Partners in Innovation: Preserving Rental Housing Near Transit was the final event in a series of three regional forums hosted by the National Housing Conference (NHC) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation throughout 2010. The events were rooted in the MacArthur Foundation's Windows of Opportunity Initiative, a $150 million commitment to preserving America's stock of affordable rental homes.

"Now more than ever, a robust stock of affordable rental homes is essential to maintaining a healthy housing market, and can also play a pivotal role in helping communities achieve their larger goals like reducing vehicle miles traveled," said NHC President and CEO Maureen Friar. "This forum is intended to help attendees take these ideas to scale by providing tailored information and targeted tools necessary to connect rental preservation and transit development initiatives."

National Housing Trust President Michael Bodaken and Melinda Pollack, a senior program director for Enterprise Community Partners, presented the findings of their new joint report with Reconnecting America. Highlighting case studies from Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, and Washington, DC the report identifies several trends — including the need for more cross-silo collaboration — with national implications for preserving rental affordability near transit.

James Corless, director of Transportation for America, urged participants to think creatively about partnering across departments and agencies to create and preserve a range of affordable housing — including rental — in transit-accessible neighborhoods

Specific panel discussions included:

• Managing Transit Impacts in Low-Income Neighborhoods

• Resources and Challenges for Green Preservation

• Philanthropy's Role in Affordable Transit-Oriented Preservation

• Regional Perspectives on the Federal Approach to Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit

• Financing the Preservation of Transit-Oriented Development

The Partners in Innovation policy forum featured an outstanding line-up of speakers, including:

Commissioner Dan Bartholomay, Minnesota Housing Finance Authority

Scott Bernstein, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Cynthia Cody, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Aaron Miripol, Urban Land Conservancy

Rob Richardson, National Housing Trust

Tasha Weaver, Colorado Housing Finance Agency

The forum was planned in partnership with a number of organizations, including: the City of Denver; the Colorado Housing Finance Agency; Enterprise Community Partners; the Urban Land Conservancy; Reconnecting America; the National Housing Trust; FRESC: Good Jobs, Strong Communities; the Denver Housing Authority; the Denver Regional Council of Governments; and the Regional Transportation District. To learn more, visit: http://www.nhc.org/policy/Denver-Events.html

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