Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Call for Proposals: Solutions 2014

by Amy Clark and Leah Logan, National Housing Conference

By all accounts, last year's Solutions conference was a great success, due in large part to the strength of the workshops offered. And the breadth and depth of knowledge of our workshop panelists was a major part of why our workshops got such great reviews from conference guests.

We want to make sure Solutions 2014, to be held November 18-20 in Oakland, Calif., is just as successful. So we're inviting practitioners, advocates, and applied researchers to submit workshop proposals using our online form. Read on for information about what we're looking for. Questions? Contact Leah Logan at

Benefits of Becoming a 2014 Conference Presenter
Conference presenters gain visibility and recognition as a leader in their field and play an important role in advancing peer-to-peer learning. Presenters who choose to attend the conference also receive a discounted conference registration fee.

Deadline for Submitting a Proposal
Proposals are due by 5 p.m. EST Monday, March 3, 2014, and notification of acceptance will be made by the end of April. Apply online using this form.

Conference Audience
Conference attendees include housing program providers and administrators; housing finance lenders, syndicators and equity investors; for-profit and nonprofit affordable housing developers; housing and community advocates; state and local government officials; urban/regional planners and architects; board and staff of local and state housing finance agencies; state and local government officials; board and staff of community development corporations and community-based organizations interested in housing; technical assistance providers; property managers and REALTORS®; communications staff of housing organizations; neighborhood stabilization practitioners; and policy-oriented researchers. Participants come from all regions of the country, but the majority are likely to be from the West Coast. More than 400 people attended last year's conference.

Focus of 2014 Conference
Solutions 2014 is designed to provide practitioners, advocates, policymakers and program administrators with the best available information on how localities and states can work collaboratively to address residents’ housing challenges and develop inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities. The 2014 conference will be organized around the following workshop tracks:

Restoring Neighborhoods: Highlights strategies and research that communities can use for preventing foreclosures, stabilizing neighborhoods and creating a more resilient housing system.
Inclusive Communities: Explores local and state policies that expand affordable housing opportunity in desirable neighborhoods and help affirmatively further fair housing.
Housing Communications: Focuses on promising communications strategies for expanding awareness of the benefits of affordable housing and building support for affordable housing policies and development.
Housing Intersections: Presents strategies and research about how housing policy and practice can have a broader impact on individuals, families and communities. Topics will include the intersection between housing and education, health, economic security, and community wellbeing.

In addition, we will present cross-cutting sessions on new and innovative strategies to serve the housing needs of veterans and older adults throughout the conference.

Workshop submissions should fit into one or more of the four tracks, and should offer practical solutions and innovative approaches to state and local housing challenges.

NHC encourages workshop submissions from practitioners, advocates, and applied researchers. Individual presentation submissions are welcome, but proposals for entire workshops organized around a single topic are preferred.

Session Formats and AV Support
  • A variety of session formats is encouraged, including panel discussions, roundtable discussion, moderated debate, and interactive workshops. The most successful sessions in the past have included substantial discussion among panelists and audience members.
  • The number of presenters in each session will be limited to three.
  • AV equipment and a technician will be available throughout the conference.
  • Workshops will be 75 minutes in length which should include time for audience Q&A.
Selection Criteria
The National Housing Conference is looking for workshops that emphasize new and creative ideas; interweave research, policy, and practice; and encourage participation of conference attendees both during and after the conference.

Reviewers will prioritize workshop proposals that:
  • Take into consideration all of the above information and are submitted by the March 3 deadline;
  • Include presenters who have expertise and experience related to the proposed workshop topic;
  • Offer opportunities for participants to develop new skills and/or replicate a successful program; 
  • Encourage a lively, engaging session with attendees;
  • Avoid the promotion or selling of products or services;
  • Add diversity, additional points of view, or specifically address issues
  • Impacting communities that are not represented in other workshops.
  • Focus on veterans’ or older adults’ housing issues.
What are you waiting for? Submit your workshop proposal today! We can't wait to see how your ideas will shape Solutions 2014.

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