First, I would like to express what a great honor it is to serve as Vice President for this year. This will be a year of continuing challenges. Incredibly, challenges in such abundance that I do not have the space to list here. However, this is why we chose our professions. We, the Community Development Community, are not strangers to challenges. In fact, we tend to see challenges and march head-on into them. We did this during the housing crisis, we have done it in recession after recession and we are doing it now during a pandemic. We entered our professions so that we can help people attain safe and affordable housing, so that we can help entrepreneurs create meaningful employment, so that we can help provide needed public services, and so that we can help people and their families live their lives with promise and hope rather than in desperation and squalor.
Our Fall Quarterly Meeting will be taking place online on GoToWebinar, October 28th and 29th. Just as we did in July, we will be conducting two half-day meetings. This should be a great opportunity for us to become more familiar with a variety of Community Development topics, help us plan for projects and programs in our own communities and to see how messy our colleagues homes are.
We start Wednesday with the legendary Hal Keller. Hal will be leading a panel of industry experts that will showcase innovative low income housing tax credit projects in Ohio. Hal will be joined by Jennifer Gorsuch Walters of Fairfield Homes, Tim Bete of St. Mary Development Corporation, and Chad Ketler of CPO Management Services.
Next, Shawna Moraille of ICF International will host a session that will discuss HUD’s requirements regarding housing counseling including the importance of working with a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency, how to become a HUD Certified Counselor and Counseling Agency and how they work with other HUD funded housing activities.
Wednesday’s third session will feature Frank Ford of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Steve Sharpe of the National Consumer Law Center. Frank and Steve will be discussing Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) Programs in Ohio. As these programs roll out across Ohio, Frank and Steve will be stressing the importance of consumer protections when considering implementation. An example of an ideal program in Lucas County will be discussed. This session will be followed by a brief OCCD Business Meeting.
Thursday will start off with Jason Powers of the City of Cleveland. Jason is Cleveland’s Middle Neighborhoods Project Director. Jason will be joined by David Sanchez of the National Community Stabilization Trust. They will discuss the importance of promoting and investing in middle or mixed income neighborhoods.
The last panel of the Quarterly Meeting will feature Gina Wilt of COHHIO. Gina will be leading a discussion on renter assistance during the Pandemic. She will be joined by Kevin Nowak of CHN Housing Partners, Hazel Remesch of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cleveland and Seth Weber of the Cincinnati Tenants Union. They will be showcasing several programs in Ohio that focus on assisting renters and stabilizing neighborhoods.
The ever popular Legislative Update by Anthony Core of Squire Patton Boggs will round out the conference. This will be followed by breakout sessions with the Ohio Development Services Agency and the Columbus Field Office.
I sincerely hope to see you all online on October 28th and 29th.
All the best,