2024 Housing Land Advocates Conference

Date: March 12, 2024
Categories: Events

Last week, housing policymakers, legal experts, and advocates converged at the annual conference hosted by the Housing Land Advocates (HLA) in Oregon. Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving housing landscape, the annual event provides a platform for discussions on tackling the state’s pressing housing production challenges. This year’s theme was “Not Just Talk: Strategies to Meet Our Housing Production Goals.” Here’s a quick roundup of the day’s event’s:

Registration and Opening Remarks

The day kicked off with registration, swiftly followed by opening remarks from Jennifer Bragar, the HLA Board President. Bragar set the tone for the day, highlighting the urgency of the housing crisis in Oregon and the need for innovative solutions.

Keynote Address by Margaret Salazar

Margaret Salazar, CEO of REACH CDC, delivered an insightful keynote address. With her extensive experience in housing policy and finance, Salazar shed light on strategies for addressing homelessness, boosting housing supply, and promoting homeownership opportunities, drawing from her tenure at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS).

Exploring Urban Lands and Housing Production

Throughout the day, expert panels delved into various facets of housing production and urban development. Discussions ranged from maximizing the use of urban lands to involving affected citizens in the planning process. Panelists explored innovative solutions such as restoring brownfields, enabling mid-sized apartments in single-family neighborhoods, and targeting infrastructure investment to maximize infill.

Our very own Senior Planner Ben Schonberger led a panel discussion on addressing the challenges of rural housing production, touching on local demand, farmworker housing, availability of labor, land supply and availablity, and financing.

Ed Sullivan Affordable Housing Advocate Award

The conference also provided a platform to recognize individuals making significant contributions to affordable housing advocacy. The presentation of the Ed Sullivan Affordable Housing Advocate Award honored Sean Edging, a Housing Planner at the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, for his instrumental role in implementing legislative initiatives aimed at addressing housing needs in the state.

As the conference drew to a close, Jennifer Bragar, in her closing remarks, reiterated the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing Oregon’s housing challenges. 

The HLA conference was a great opportunity to grow some of our newest employees, and help shape and learn from the housing discussions happening across our state.

Looking forward to next year already!


Housing Land Advocates annual conference 2024, Winterbrook Planning sponsor