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NOTE: This is an archived page - click here to view the current edition of In Focus In Focus
July 2009 - Post-Conference Edition

A Ground-Breaking Learning Conference

Thank you for supporting Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy which took place June 28-30 in Chicago. The learning conference brought together over 400 policymakers, advocates and practitioners from around the nation to focus on innovative housing solutions at the state and local level.

Solutions for Working Families featured:

- Two training workshops addressing green affordable housing and innovative communications tools.
- Two day-long institutes on foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization and preserving and improving affordable rental housing.
- Four thought-provoking plenary sessions featuring some of the most well-known leaders in the housing and community development field.
- Five mobile workshop tours demonstrating cutting-edge housing policy in action throughout the Chicago metro region.
- 35 concurrent sessions and facilitated discussions covering the full spectrum of housing policy issues from A to Z: aging in place� to zoning for a diversity of housing types.
- Countless opportunities for participants to connect to new information, resources and peers.

Solutions for Working Families presented an outstanding educational program thanks to the dynamic team of keynote speakers, presenters, facilitators and tour guides. The robust session content and networking opportunities enabled participants to identify policies that have been successful in other communities and to see what could work in theirs.

NHC and the Center also wish to thank the generous sponsors, exhibitors, and planning committee members that helped to make the learning conference a success. Finally, we thank each of the over 400 participants at the conference. Solutions for Working Families participants traveled to Chicago from 33 different states (and the District of Columbia) and brought with them a willingness to learn, share, and engage with each other.

We hope to see you again at the next learning conference in 2011. In the meantime, please continue reading this edition of In Focus for news about conference resources. NHC and the Center hope that this first-of-its-kind learning conference is just the beginning of an ongoing exchange of ideas and solutions centered on state and local housing policy. In that spirit, we invite you to join us online at the Forum to continue the important dialogue we began in Chicago!

Learn More about Solutions for Working Families

Conference Resources Now Available!

Looking for the final conference program and speaker bios? You can find these items and more on the updated conference website. We have posted the session presentations, handouts and links provided by conference speakers.

View Conference Resources

Keynote Presentations

Did you miss one of the keynote speeches? Or just have one you want to hear again? We have you covered. NHC and the Center are pleased to provide access to audio recordings of the Solutions for Working Families plenary sessions. Our outstanding line-up of keynote presenters included:
You can also access the welcoming remarks provided by Jeffrey Lubell of the Center for Housing Policy and sponsor Allen Jones of Bank of America. Finally, you don't want to miss the special remarks made by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan on the final day of the learning conference.

Listen to the Keynote Presentations

Solutions in Action

Innovative housing strategies that provide sustainable affordable housing options, such as shared equity homeownership, were among the topics covered at the Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy.

As noted on NHC's Open House� blog, a recent article in the Chicago Tribune details a session at the conference focused on successful shared equity homeownership strategies in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, specifically through the use of a community land trust. The session featured Rob Anthony, Highland Park Community Land Trust; Jim Gray, NCB Capital Impact; Rick Jacobus, Burlington Associates for Community Development; Councilwoman Terri Olian, City of Highland Park, Illinois; and Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., City of Chicago, Illinois, 27th Ward.

The Highland Park Community Land Trust was created six years ago, and has completed 30 housing units thus far; enabling teachers, health care workers and city employees, among others, to live in the city in which they work.

Under this land trust model, homes are sold for 20 to 65 percent below market price, depending on how a buyer's household income compares with the area median income. The trust retains ownership of the land and leases it to the homeowner for $25 per month. When homeowners move, they can either sell the home back to the land trust, or alternatively, sell it to another income-eligible buyer under a formula that keeps the home affordable.

You can learn more about the Highland Park Community Land Trust and catch up on other conference activities by reading NHC's Open House� blog. Interested in writing a guest blog entry? Please contact NHC Policy Associate Megan Richardson.

Read More About This Solution

Share Your Story

Still have an unanswered question about state and local housing policy? Join the Affordable Housing - General discussion group on's new online Forum to connect with your peers, pose questions, exchange ideas, and learn from the experience and expertise of others. Other discussion groups in the Forum are accessible through and our new sister-site, These include: Rental Housing Preservation, Inclusionary Zoning, Foreclosure Prevention, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Shared Equity Homeownership.

Visit the Forum to Share Your Story!


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Conference Images:
More Conference Photos Available Online


May 2009 - In Focus: Learning Conference
April 2009 -
In Focus: Learning Conference
March 2009- In Focus: Neighborhood Stabilization
December 2008- In Focus: Neighborhood Stabilization
November 2008-- In Focus: Neighborhood Stabilization
October 2008-- In Focus: Transit-Oriented Development
September 2008-- In Focus: Inclusionary Zoning
August 2008 -- In Focus: Rental Housing Preservation
July 2008-- In Focus: Shared Equity Homeownership
June 2008 -- In Focus: Green Affordable Housing -- This issue of In Focus kicked off a series of Six Housing Policies for a World of High Energy Costs
May 2008 -- In Focus: Foreclosure Prevention
April 2008 -- In Focus: Employer-Assisted Housing
February 2008
-- was launched in January 2008 as part of Housing Solutions Week. Click here to view materials from the week.