Elected officials and advocates calling the lack of affordable housing a “crisis,” especially when the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that more than 500,000 people nationwide are homeless.
The Urban Land Institute seeks to combat this with presentations during a two-day webinar with a singular mission: to expand housing opportunities in all communities.
The institute’s ‘Housing Opportunity’ conference kicked off Tuesday with discussions on improving the landlord-tenant framework, climate mitigation strategies for building stable housing and assessing racial homeownership. and the wealth gap.
Philip Payne, president of the nonprofit Lotus Campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina, said on Tuesday that the private sector must step up and provide housing stability because homelessness “is just too high.” so that government agencies can fend for themselves.
“Homelessness exists because we allow it to exist,” said Payne, who added that the work done by institute members and other advocates “have the intellectual capital and the experience to make it happen. “.
The institute plans to release a report this month to highlight ideas for increasing housing for people who are homeless or homeless.
Vicki Davis, co-founder and managing partner of Urban Atlantic of Bethesda in Montgomery County, Maryland, said creating public-private partnerships to build mixed-income communities will reduce homelessness.
For example, allows residents who can receive annual salaries of $10,000 to reside in a neighborhood with those whose incomes start at $200,000 per year.
“Why? Because it provides tremendous access to middle-class opportunities to people who otherwise wouldn’t have those opportunities…and [it] can break the cycle of poverty,” she said. “For me, it’s great on an individual basis, it’s also very good for our country and allows everyone to prosper.”
Duncan Gibbs, managing partner of Atlanta’s TriStar Real Estate Investments, said his company created an “eviction grant” for tenants to receive money for rent when they could get a new job. He said the company raised $50,000 for the fund, which grew to $2 million when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country two years ago.
“The moral of the story with this is that we are really trying to engage tenants to keep them placed [in their home]“, said Gibbs. “Every time a tenant vacates a property, the financial cost and burden to landlords is enormous. We looked at that in a different light.”
the institute will continue its online conference on Wednesday.