Officials Work to Crack the Code for Successful Affordable Housing Initiatives

Affordable Housing - Nicola
Nicola Y. Whiteman presents the audience with the problems around affordable housing

Affordable housing is a hot button issue that can polarize and paralyze communities. At the MACo Summer Conference session, “Breaking Barriers and Building Consensus Around Affordable Housing,” attendees heard from experts and county colleagues about the challenges counties face addressing the issues and the ways they can work with communities and stakeholders unify around productive local solutions. 

Nicola Y. Whiteman, Esq., Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Erin Bradley, Vice President of Government Affairs for Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA) kicked off the panel with an overview of the affordable housing problem, tools to overcome challenges to addressing affordable housing, and case studies of counties putting those tools to action. They discussed safe housing for domestic violence survivor in Prince George’s County and an eviction study and identifying housing for refugees in Montgomery County.

Affordable Housing - Erin and Panel
From left to right: Duane Yoder, Council Member Todd Turner, Erin Bradley, Senator Pam Beidle, Nicola Whiteman.

Affordable Housing - DuaneDuane Yoder, President, Garrett County Community Action shared the county’s approach for gaining and sustaining support for affordable housing. He stressed affordable housing as vital for economic and workforce development noting that if you don’t have affordable housing you are inviting people to leave for a place that does.

Affordable Housing - TurnerCouncil Member Todd Turner, President of the Prince George’s County Council discussed recent reports — the Prince George’s County Comprehensive Housing Strategy “Housing Opportunities For All” and the “Affordable Housing Commission” report — that are driving the work the county is doing to build affordable housing capacity and meet targeted housing needs such as support existing residents, attract new residents, and build on strategic investments & submarket conditions.  

The session was moderated by Senator Pam Beidle and held on Friday, August 16, 2019.

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