Spring Housing Affordability Symposium Planned

Spring Housing Affordability Symposium Planned

First published in Around the O, on April 30th, 2018. To address the growing crisis in affordable housing in Oregon and beyond, the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) is hosting a symposium on May 23. The one-day event at the UO’s White Stag Building in Portland will provide the opportunity for statewide housing experts, public officials, university housing researchers, and students to gather and discuss the problems of affordable housing and work together to find viable solutions.

According to PPPM Associate Professor Gerardo Sandoval, who serves on the State of Oregon’s housing stability council, the goal of the symposium is three-fold to:

  • Paint a picture of what’s happening in terms of housing affordability
  • Provide examples of people and organizations working to address housing affordability issues
  • Discuss what can be done in terms of public policy

“The symposium will not only create a space for stakeholders from around the state to come together and discuss work that’s being done to address the issue and look for solutions, but also to learn more about how the university can provide guidance,” Sandoval says. “The UO is a great resource for research, advice, and support on these topics directly impacting peoples’ lives.” Professor Sandoval and Assistant Professor Rebecca Lewis are hosting and coordinating the symposium.

UO President Michael Schill, who is one of the sponsors of the event, will speak at the symposium on changing trends in affordable housing. Schill is a nationally recognized expert in property, real estate, and housing law and policy. Before he became UO president, he co-authored several books on the topic of affordable housing, and in 2004, he founded the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, one of the nation’s leading research centers on housing and the built environment.

“Affordable housing is a critical issue in Oregon. It impacts our state’s economic development and prosperity. It is also tied to UO’s ability to recruit an excellent workforce and maintain affordability for our students,” said President Schill. “I am looking forward to hearing from affordable housing experts, legislators, developers, and others as we examine these issues and seek solutions.”

Bienestar Housing Project in Hillsboro, OR
Bienestar Housing Project in Hillsboro, OR. Photo courtesy of Gerardo Sandoval.

Michael Lens, associate faculty director of the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and associate professor of urban planning and public policy, will deliver the keynote speech on national housing policy research; and Margaret Salazar, director of the Oregon Housing and Community Services Agency will discuss Oregon’s approach to housing affordability.

Three panel discussions will focus on the status of housing affordability in Oregon, promising affordable housing practices throughout the state, and ideas for moving forward on affordable housing. Panelists include representatives from the Oregon Housing and Community Services Agency, Community and Shelter Assistance Corp., the City of Scappoose and the City of Beaverton, a House Representative of the State of Oregon, a Multnomah County Commissioner, the Oregon Department of Land and Conservation and Development, Make Room, and the University of Oregon.

The event is sponsored by the University of Oregon Office of the President, the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, the Sustainable Cities Initiative, and the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement.

Students are encouraged to participate. For further information on how to get involved, contact: Rebecca Lewis at [email protected] or Gerardo Sandoval at [email protected].


April 30, 2018