Over 100 national, state, and local leaders came together in Austin on August 12 to identify effective workforce housing strategies at the National Housing Conference (NHC) and National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Bring Workers Home regional policy forum.
The forum kicked off with remarks from Judge Samuel Biscoe, Travis County Commissioners Court, and Council Member Randi Shade, Austin City Council. A morning panel discussion, moderated by Rebecca Giello with the City of Austin, focused growing cost of place in Austin and what that means for housing.
Keynote speaker Janet Byrum, human resources manager at Advance Food Co. in Enid, Okla., shared the success of her organization’s employer-assisted housing benefits program, which provides forgivable loans to the company’s first-time home buyers.
The Bring Workers Home forum showcased private and public sector solutions to keep up with emerging changes, including the need for collaboration at the federal, state and local levels. Two afternoon panel discussions—both moderated by Robin Snyderman of the Metropolitan Planning Council—focused on examples of successful workforce housing programs in Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas.
The following regional and national partners helped NAR and NHC plan the forum: Austin Board of REALTORS®, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; International Economic Development Council; and Metropolitan Planning Council.
The Bring Workers Home forum in Austin was the third of four regional workforce housing events that NHC and NAR are hosting throughout 2010. Recent forums took place in Atlanta, GA and Minneapolis, MN. The final forum will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii (October 12.)
• Forum Agenda and Speaker Bios
• NAR's Housing Opportunity Program
• Center for Housing Policy’s “Quantifying the Value Proposition of Employer-Assisted Housing”
• Metropolitan Planning Council
• REACH Illinois
Please contact Lynn Ross, state and local initiatives director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-466-2121 ext. 237.