On Friday, October 6, the SV@Home team attended NPH’s Affordable Housing Conference in San Francisco and gained valuable insights from the incredible lineup of speakers and panelists.
Session name: High Resource Developments: Lesson Learned
Panel: Linda Mandolini, President of Eden Housing; Mara Biltzer, Director of Special Projects SF MOHCD; Shreya Shah, Associate Director of Housing Development of TNDC
Moderator: Eric Phillips, Partner, Bruke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
The “High Resource Developments: Lessons Learned” session at the NPH conference featured insightful presentations by speakers from Eden Housing and TNDC. They shared their experience from highly challenging yet successful affordable housing projects in Livermore and San Francisco’s expensive and exclusionary neighborhoods. The key takeaway from both case studies emphasized the formidable battle against strong NIMBY opposition to high-density affordable housing projects in high-resource areas, requiring more resources, time, and finances for legal challenges. The success of these projects was attributed to crucial legislation like SB 35, AB 2162, SB 330, SB 6, AB 2097, and AB 2011, which streamlined affordable housing projects, City Council support, effective communication strategies, and robust legal representation. The process of successfully executing affordable housing projects in high-resource areas was prolonged, and the determination displayed by affordable housing developers is commendable, echoing the conference’s Keynote Plenary message of keeping hope alive, being courageous, and finding joy in the movement to make affordable housing a reality to many.
Regina Celestin Williams
For me, attending the annual NPH conference is a joyous experience because of all the familiar faces, colleagues, and friends that I get to see and spend substantive time with. These folks make up my community, and I am so grateful to them for the love, support, and belonging that I feel in their presence. I also had the opportunity to participate in the panel on “How to Talk about Affordable Housing as a Homelessness Solution” as the moderator, along with panelists who educated many of us on the power of storytelling, the need to truly listen to and make connections with those who have experienced homelessness, and the importance of knowing our audience. Through messaging, we can support our neighbors in seeing that the onus of solving homelessness is on the public and that our choices must reflect that responsibility. I left inspired and energized, knowing that we have the solutions to the problems and that another world is possible!
The NPH conference was a wonderful opportunity for us to be in community with so many of our partners in this important work, to share knowledge and ways to build collective power, and to meet new friends in the industry. I deeply valued the insights I gained from the “How to Talk about Affordable Housing as a Homelessness Solution” session moderated by our Executive Director, Regina Celestin Williams. As communications professionals, we are always thinking about how to effectively tell stories that inspire our community to join our advocacy work and imagine a more abundant future. The panel emphasized the need for strong narratives that include the voices of people with lived experience, that effectively help people understand that housing is the solution to homelessness, and that meet people where they are in their knowledge of our crisis. I feel deeply inspired by my colleagues in this work and the cross-collaboration that will only make our movement stronger!
Manuel Salazar and Revathi Konduru-
Session Name: Super NOFA – Past, Present & Future: A Conversation with Housing and Community Development (HCD)
Panel: Gina Ferguson, Multifamily Branch Chief, Division of Financial Assistance-State Programs, HCD; Tony Sertich, Assistant Deputy Director, State Financial Assistance, HCD
HCD’s panel discussing the Super NOFA at the NPH Conference provided a crucial platform for developers and attendees to discuss the current application processes of Super NOFAs. A common concern voiced by developers was the longer timeframe between application submission and award recipient announcements. Another item the developers highlighted was to get a better understanding of HCD’s process to evaluate applications for oversubscribed funding regions. Developers are eager for improved efficiency and clarity to streamline the funding application process and help them better allocate their resources.