The 2021 Ohio Housing Conference, "Moving Forward with New Perspective," was held virtually this year, on December 1st and 2nd. Hosted in collaboration with Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, the two-day event provided more than 20 sessions exploring trending topics in the affordable housing industry, and drew more than 700 attendees.
Our 2021 conference hosted two plenary sessions, where we discussed key topics regarding the current state of affordable housing. "Rapid Fire: State and Federal Housing" explored the responses to challenges and new policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic slowdown, and political changes. "Toward a More Perfect Union: Housing for Equity and Inclusion" provided a discussion from several organization leaders regarding changes in public policy, business practices and community partnerships that may dismantle inequitable systems and create effective long term institutional change.
Keeping in mind that attendees may be looking for something impactful to their personal and professional lives, the "Inspire Us: Quick and Impactful Stories to Motivate You" featured inspirational messages from well-known Ohioans. These speakers included Dr. Debbie Phillips of The Quadrillion, Tori Boggs, an OSU alumni and Grand World Jump Rope Champion, Chinedum Ndukwe, a former Cincinnati Bengal and Lance Allred, a former Cleveland Cavalier. Conference attendees learned about being more intentional and empathetic, prioritizing your strengths and time, and how this can influence your life pathways.
Each year at the conference, we present the prestigious William J. Graves Ohio Housing Excellence Award. Given to a person or organization dedicated to providing safe, quality affordable housing for Ohioans and preventing homelessness, the 2021 award was presented to Jennifer Gorsuch Walters, President of Fairfield Homes, Inc. Jennifer and Fairfield Homes were recognized for the development of Pearl House. Located in Lancaster, Ohio, Pearl House is a supportive housing community for homeless families battling addiction.
Don't forget to mark your calendar for the 2022 Ohio Housing Conference, planned tentatively for November 29th and 30th. We look forward to seeing you later this year!