First Virtual Ohio Housing Conference Draws 800 Attendees to Collaborate on Affordable Housing Strategies and Solutions

January 28, 2021

The recent Ohio Housing Conference, “Empowered: People, Partnerships. Possibilities” provided opportunities to virtually engage more than 800 professionals in the affordable housing industry, while highlighting industry best practices, expertise and experience. The Ohio Housing Conference, cohosted by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, has for many years provided a premier opportunity for industry professionals to discuss the challenges and trends facing affordable housing while encouraging collaborative and innovative discussions.

“The Ohio Housing Conference continues to provide exceptional training and educational opportunities for industry professionals,” said OCCH President and CEO Catherine Cawthon. “In the backdrop of the pandemic and economic uncertainty, it was vital that we continue to partner with OHFA in educating attendees and ensuring our industry has the knowledge to support Ohioans in need.”

A special highlight of the conference was the presentation of The William J. Graves Ohio Housing Excellence Award, presented to Bill Faith, the Executive Director of COHHIO (Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio). Bill has been a dedicated and tireless advocate for the housing needs of Ohio’s most vulnerable communities and this award recognizes his commitment to providing safe, quality affordable housing; strengthening Ohio’s communities, and providing critical resources to the State of Ohio to prevent and end homelessness.

Session highlights included a “Rapid Fire: State and Federal Housing after the Election” discussion on the status of the housing industry at the state and federal levels, and the impact of the election results on affordable housing policy and programs. Moderated by Hal Keller (Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing), the panel included national experts Michael Novogradac (Novogradac & Company); Emily Cadik (Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition); and Bill Faith (Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio).

Shawn Smith, Executive Director of OHFA, moderated the annual economic forecast panel comprised of local and national economic experts Dr. Edward Hill (The Ohio State University); Robert Vogt (Vogt Strategic Insights); and Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington (National Association of Home Builders). The current economic forecast for Ohio and future trends and issues impacting renters and homeowners was the focus of the session.

A popular session dealt with the challenges of 2020 and the impacts of COVID 19, systemic racism, and the economy on affordable housing. Moderated by Catherine Cawthon (Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing), the panel included Diane Yentel (National Low Income Housing Coalition), Bo Chilton, (IMPACT Community Action), and Lisa Alberghini (Housing Partnership Network).

The host of the Netflix series, “The Kindness Diaries,” Leon Logothetis presented an inspiring keynote address. Leon travels the world helping people find their potential by fueling kindness and harnessing the power of human connection, while relying on the kindness of strangers.

This year’s conference will be held November 30 – December 2, 2021.