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Poverty Solutions Engagement Series: Making Housing More Affordable

Making Housing More Affordable is the first in the Poverty Solutions Engagement Series, where we will tackle a poverty-related topic and connect faculty, students and communities to explore ideas, strategies and potential solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

Friday, April 7, 2017, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 S University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, Atrium
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Welcome and introduction by Poverty Solutions director H. Luke Shaefer


Arthur Jemison, Director of Housing and Revitalization, City of Detroit


After the keynote speaker, participants will have an opportunity to attend breakout sessions and contribute ideas to real world challenges on affordable housing.

Participants may choose from one of the following Interactive sessions led by faculty and community experts:

Housing Affordability in Detroit: Property Tax Exemption as a Poverty Solution

Michele Oberholtzer, United Community Housing Coalition
Roshanak Mehdipanah, University of Michigan
Alexa Eisenberg,  University of Michigan
Ted Phillips, United Community Housing Coalition

Lack of access to affordable housing is a prevalent issue in Detroit. In this presentation, we take a closer look at the Poverty Tax Exemption as a tool for alleviating poverty among low-income homeowners.

Preserving Detroit’s Affordable Housing

Sarida Scott, Executive Director, Community Development Advocates of Detroit
Julie Schneider, Policy Director, Detroit Department of Housing and Revitalization

Housing developments that have been financed with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits need refinancing when they reach 15 years old in order to save them as decent affordable housing, but this need poses numerous challenges.  

City of Desire: Inclusive visions for Detroit

Lars Gräbner, Assistant Professor of Practice in Architecture, U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Design

How can Detroit make use of innovative financing strategies for affordable housing? A visionary and sustainable plan for Detroit could include rent-to-own, public housing authority, and co-op strategies. This session will also explore the use of fallow land for energy production, new low energy housing, and establishing wetlands as neighborhood stabilization and development tool.

Homelessness and Affordable Housing in Washtenaw County

Jennifer Hall, Executive Director, City of Ann Arbor Housing Commission
Andrea Plevek, Director, Office of Community & Economic Development
Carole McCabe, Executive Director of Avalon Housing, Inc.

This session explores efforts to address homelessness and affordable housing in Washtenaw County and how this connects to larger equity conversations taking place.

Reimagining Supportive Services and Self Sufficiency in Low Income Housing

Marquan Jackson, Director, The Family Empowerment Program



Participants will have an opportunity to network and visit resource tables presenting information on poverty-related work and research. Refreshments from Zingerman’s.

Poverty Solutions thanks Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, for being an exemplary partner for this event and by addressing the causes of poverty from within the business sector in a variety of ways.