NOW! Policy Track

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Wednesday, 1:45PM - 3:15PM

Developer Panel -- Opportunities & Challenges

This panel will focus on the challenges and opportunities that developers face based on recent events in Washington DC, Colorado and Front Range, Eastern Plans and Western Slope municipalities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the recent developments at the federal, state and local level. 
  • How are developers in other markets getting affordable housing built.
  • Unique challenges facing Colorado developers.

Speakers: Jennifer Cloud, Development Director, Monroe Group; Dave Herdlick, Partner, RubinBrown, LLP; Arthur McDermott, President, McDermott Properties; Ron Mehl, VP, Dominium Development & Acquisitions



Wednesday, 3:45PM - 5PM

The Future of Affordable Housing -- The Ben Carson Era

HUD is already underfunded and unable to satisfy current needs.  New HUD budget cuts ar alamring compated to recent years.  How ill Ben Carson’s HUD adjust?  Will HUd’s new Deputy Secretary save the day?  Hear from experts how HUD is expected to change from the HUD of prior administration.


Speakers: Jerry Anderson, Executive Vice President, Gill Group; Marshall Phillips, Principal, CohnReznick; Erik Solivan, HOPE Executive Director, Office of Mayor Michael B. Hancock;  Catalina Vielma, VP of Originations, National Equity Fund

Moderator:  Melinda Pasquini, Shareholder, Polsinelli


Thursday, 10AM - 11:30AM

The Missing Middle

Housing is out of reach for a historic number of Coloradans. While flagship programs such as LIHTC, HOME, and CDBG have historically focused on serving 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI) and below, those between 61-120 percent AMI, the new “Missing Middle”, are finding themselves caught in the crunch.


Learning Objectives:

  • Who is the “missing middle” in Colorado, and how are recent market trends making housing out of reach for this key demographic.
  • What are the challenges and opportunities facing developers and funders seeking to serve this market.
  • How can new investors be drawn in to help serve this market.

Speakers: Clark Anderson, Executive Director, Community Builders; Julie Stern, Development Officer, City and County of Denver; David Zucker, Co-Founder, Zocalo Development

Moderator:  Steve Johnson, Director of Community Development, CHFA

Thursday, 1:30PM - 2:45PM

Building Stable & Inclusive Communities Through Local Funding

Architects of Denver’s Dedicated Housing Fund, Vice Chair of Denver’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and Polsinelli attorneys will be discussing the importance of local funding sources, the criteria for accessing funds from Denver’s Dedicated Housing Fund, next steps for Denver’s Comprehensive Housing Plan and the overall process for creating local funding plans.

Learning Objectives:

  • Successes and challenges in adopting Denver’s Dedicated Housing Fund.
  • Funds available for investment in Denver.
  • The role of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee

Speakers: Laura Brudzynski, Denver Manager of Housing Policy and Programs, City of Denver Office of Economic Development; Heather Lafferty, CEO and Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver; Melinda Pasquini, Shareholder, Polsinelli


Thursday, 3:15PM - 4:30PM

Why Communities Resist Change

Beginning with a brief case study of a client experiencing homelessness, and the considerable hatred elicited in providers and community members, this panel will explore how lessons learned from the dynamics of homelessness can be expanded to explore larger issues of resistance to change in communities and systems.


Learning Objectives:

  • Identify how psychoanalytic ideas can promote community advancement.
  • Recognize the underpinnings of why communities resist change.
  • Develop improved methods of community engagement.

Speakers: EJ Becker, MSW, Program Manager, Homeless Services, Aurora Mental Health Center; Kwame Holmes, PhD , Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, The University of Colorado-Boulder; Brian Ngo-Smith, LCSW,  Division Director, Adult Intensive Services, Aurora Mental Health Center


Friday, 10AM - 11:30AM

What's Really Driving Housing Unaffordability in Colorado? 

Housing affordability is a major issue in Colorado--but who, or what, is to blame? While it’s easy to point fingers at policy as the culprit, the causes are more complicated. This session will explore the role economic and demographic conditions, residential construction costs, and yes, policy play in housing unaffordability. 

Learning Objectives:

  • How these factors could impact the future of housing.
  • Solutions to alleviate the impact of these factors on housing.

Speakers: Jen Newcomer, Director of Research, Shift Research Lab; Phyllis Resnick, Lead Economist, Colorado Futures Center


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