Housing Washington, an annual statewide conference on affordable housing, will be held Sept. 26-28 at the Spokane Convention Center.
Jama Hawk, manager of administrative services for the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, says the conference is expected to draw more than 700 attendees, representing government, private, and nonprofit low-income housing advocacy interests.
The commission, the Washington state Department of Commerce, and Seattle-based nonprofit Washington Low Income Housing Alliance are sponsoring agencies for the annual conference, which alternates between the Spokane and Seattle areas.
The theme for this year's conference is "Livelihood: Housing = Jobs," Hawk says.
"Housing and economic development are closely entwined," she says. "Housing helps provide jobs and can be a strong factor in the economic health of the community."
The conference will feature five keynote speakers, including John Zogby, chairman of the board of the prominent polling firm IBOPE Zogby International.
"We're asking him to look at what's going on and, specifically, how it affects affordable housing in Washington state," Hawk says.
Other keynote speakers will be Judith Bell, president of PolicyLink, which focuses on polices affecting low-income and minority communities; Michael Pyatok, a principal at Oakland, Calif.-based Pyatok Architecture Inc.; Arun Ruha, chief economist for Washington state; and Robyne I. Stone, director of LeadingAge Center for Applied Research, of Washington, D.C.
About 40 additional speakers will lead breakout discussion groups. Such speakers include Jayne Auld, executive director of Spokane Housing Ventures, and Maria Hernandez-Peck, Eastern Washington University associate professor of social work.
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission also will announce during the conference its Friend of Housing awards, which recognize people and agencies contributing exceptional work in affordable housing, Hawk says.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE