8:45 — 11:45am
Ensuring Fair Housing in Today's Market
Grand Rapids and west Michigan continue to consistently rank among the nation’s hottest housing markets for an ever-growing list of attributes – the arts, the breweries, the parks and beaches, the medical community – but above all, the affordability of homes combined with lower costs of living. What does this mean for current residents? What does this mean for the increasing number of people seeking to relocate here? How can we ensure equal housing opportunity for all in a highly competitive and quickly evolving housing market? This workshop will highlight concerns that arise from the fair housing perspective in a tight housing market as well as current efforts and local conversations underway. This panel will be anchored by Cathy Cloud (Chief Operating Officer – National Fair Housing Alliance). This workshop may interest community advocates, housing industry professionals, policy makers, educators, community development groups and human service agencies; however, all are welcome!
Putting Out the Welcome Mat for Seniors
Over the next twenty years, the population aged 65 and over is expected to grow from 48 million to 79 million with the result that by 2035, an astounding one out of three American households will be headed by someone aged 65 or older. The expansion of this population will increase not only the need for equal housing opportunity for all seniors, but also the need for affordable, accessible housing that is well-connected to much needed supportive services. Therefore, this workshop will open with a review of fair housing cases in senior housing from fair housing attorney Laura Arandes (Associate – Relman, Dane & Colfax) and then transition into proactive approaches being undertaken with available resources and agencies that can help seniors maintain and/or access the housing of their choice. Featuring presentations from Deb Davis (Community Outreach Manager – Paws for a Cause), John Smith (Consumer Attorney – Legal Aid of Western Michigan), and Eric Jordan (City of Grand Rapids) and Shelly Weiss (Grand Rapids Police Department) of the Grand Rapids Area Hoarding Taskforce. This workshop is made possible through the support of the Kent County Senior Millage. This workshop may appeal to people with disabilities, seniors, civil rights/disability rights advocates, housing providers, those serving seniors or people with disabilities, and others interested in aging in place; however, all are welcome!
Hot Topics in Fair Housing: Sales and Lending Legal Update
As the housing market begins to recover, questions arise about who is able to participate and who is being left behind. Good fair housing and fair lending processes are more important than ever as more people experiencing the housing crunch search for affordable, quality housing that meets their needs. Join this workshop for a legal update on fair housing sales and lending cases as well as information on what can be learned from systemic investigations under fair housing and fair lending laws. Systemic housing investigations address discrimination that is pervasive or institutional in nature, involve complex issues, and/or potentially affect large numbers of persons. There will be an emphasis on fair housing best practices and the key role that housing professionals play in the multifaceted task of achieving fair housing and equal opportunity. The panel will include renowned fair housing attorney Steve Dane (Partner – Relman, Dane & Colfax) as well as long-time fair housing advocates Erin Kemple (Executive Director – Connecticut Fair Housing Center) and Jim McCarthy (President/CEO – Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, Inc.). This workshop is geared toward housing industry professionals (Realtors, apartment managers/owners, mortgage lenders, etc.) and others interested in fair housing compliance strategies and risk management; however, all are welcome! (Note: Continued education credits will be sought).