Reflections from the NYATEP Housing: American Dream to Hardship Panel

As a part of the Change Makers Series, NYATEP hosted a panel last week titled “Housing: American Dream to Hardship.” Rebecca Karp, CEO of Karp Strategies, moderated the panel of distinguished housing and planning policy leaders: Laura Buxbaum, SVP of Public Policy and Resource Development at CEI; Denise Scott, Executive Vice President of Programs at LISC; and Clyde Higgs, President & CEO at Atlanta Beltline.

The discussion focused on the importance of interconnected policies for housing, transportation, childcare, health, and job stability. Panelists emphasized the need for a coordinated approach to housing in the context of urban and rural communities where residents are unable to maintain jobs, and therefore housing, without adequate transportation and childcare. For example, a holistic approach to creating a healthier, more walkable Atlanta includes an anti-displacement fund to ensure that existing residents can benefit from project investments. Another theme that panelists touched on was the importance of a nationwide housing policy, particularly as COVID-19 continues to exacerbate the current housing crisis. Denise Scott underscored this point, “Local and state governments are not a substitute for what the federal government needs to do.”

The panel closed with a call for increased dialogue between workforce development specialists and housing authorities and developers, and an appropriate description of the interdisciplinary nature of economic prosperity.

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