Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Making neighborhoods great

by Chris Estes, National Housing Conference 

We are excited to announce more details about our Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods 2015 Convening, Nov. 5-6 in New Orleans. By holding our convenings beyond D.C. in different parts of the country each year, we bring a regional flavor to national events and make these networking and learning opportunities more accessible to folks in different parts of the country. This year we are excited to highlight the tremendous redevelopment work that has happened in New Orleans in the 10 years after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. This opportunity to tour revitalized neighborhoods as well as learn from a very diverse group of participants is a unique one for those in the affordable housing community.

On the opening day of Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods we will offer two mobile workshop tours of this work. These tours focus not on disaster recovery but on comprehensive redevelopment, as much of the city’s housing stock needed to be redesigned and redeveloped prior to those catastrophic events.

Habitat for Humanity New Orleans is offering a mobile workshop in the Ninth Ward. This holistic examination will include urban gardens, Habitat model homes, Musicians Village, green building, Make It Right home and much more. Enterprise Community Partners will host a workshop in the famous Treme neighborhood that is now poised for a major revival. This tour will look at housing efforts along with other investments in education, greenspace, healthcare, arts and infrastructure, providing a model for comprehensive community development.

You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to network with other attendees from local government, development, lending, service provision, syndication, state government and other fields as well as see this work in person on these two tour options. Visit our website for more details on the workshop offerings as well as registration and discounted hotel rooms (which are filling up fast).

The subject matter of Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods is part of NHC’s year-round work. This week senior research associate Janet Viveiros and I are in Portland, Maine for a meeting with the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition. Janet is presenting some of her work to help those in housing understand more about the changes in healthcare and how housing groups and health agencies can be successful partners. This is especially important for Maine, which has significant housing issues for its older adult population as well as an upcoming referendum on bonds to fund housing efforts for seniors to reduce their health care costs. There will be more discussion on these issues at Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods with Janet moderating a workshop on collaboration and innovation in affordable housing and health.

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