The Network's Annual Community Development Conference & Membership Meeting
Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Hyatt in New Brunswick


Governor Phil Murphy received the “Community Development Champion” award for becoming the first governor to fully fund the New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund in a decade. The award was presented by members of NJ’s nonprofit community development sector at Under One Roof: The Housing and Community Development Network of NJ’s (the Network) Annual Community Development Conference and Membership Meeting on October 18. Read More

Gov. Phil Murphy: Under One Roof Special Guest Speaker
We are thrilled to welcome the Honorable Philip Murphy, the first Governor in more than a decade to fully fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and to make affordability a key policy priority of his Administration. So far during his time in office, Gov. Murphy has signed the following Network policy priorities into law: land banking, Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program expansion, foreclosure prevention measures, expansion of emergency assistance, and the creation of the Office of Homelessness Prevention. Gov. Murphy is addressing the issues our communities and neighbors need to make NJ a fairer and stronger place we can all afford to call home.

Keynote on Housing Policy in 2020 Election by National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel
Diane Yentel is leading the effort to change the landscape and make housing part of the national dialogue. In a poll released by her organization, 85 percent of people believe that a safe, decent, affordable place to live should be a top national priority. In response, eleven presidential candidates have released housing proposals. Despite becoming an increasingly significant issue, national debate moderators fail to ask candidates about housing. As a result, Diane has written op-eds on the topic and met with presidential candidates to raise awareness about the housing and homelessness crisis and its solutions. Join us at the Hyatt in New Brunswick on October 18 to hear Diane address housing policy from a national perspective and what housing advocates are doing across the country to create more affordable homes in their communities. 

Workshop Session I
Hospitals and Community Developers: Collaborations Creating Affordable Homes
Panelists: Victoria Brogan, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, New Jersey Hospital Association; Jeff Crum, Chief Investment Officer, New Jersey Community Capital; Kenneth M. Morris, Jr., Vice President of External Affairs, St. Joseph’s Health
Moderator: Bob Guarasci, Founder and CEO, NJ Community Development Corporation
Hospitals are collaborating with nonprofit community development organizations in New Jersey to tackle a key social determinant of health - the need for affordable homes. Projects are currently underway to provide local residents safe and affordable places to live that have on-site health services. There are over 80 hospitals in NJ, each subject to a community needs assessment under the Affordable Care Act, learn how to take advantage and develop a partnership in your community.

Build a Thriving NJ: Using the Affordable Housing Trust Fund & Other Funding Tools
Panelists: Katherine Brennan, Chief of Staff, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency; Krystal Odell, President and CEO of PennReach; John Restrepo, Director of the Division of Housing and Community Development, Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GSECDC)
Moderator: Lewis Hurd, Director of Redevelopment & Representative Housing Authority of Plainfield & Premiere Community Development Corporation
New Jersey's Affordable Housing Trust Fund is fully funded for the first time in years, thanks to a sustained campaign effort by the Network and our members! We are working to ensure that community developers have full access to these funds and plan for opportunities to leverage them with other financing tools, including those from NJHMFA. Join us for the next discussion in a series of Network-led conversations so that CDCs can make the greatest impact in our communities. Hear from CDC leaders and stakeholders about what our sector should do to be ready for the AHTF and other funding sources, while gearing up to invest hard won, critical resources into our communities.

Expanding & Protecting Housing Affordability: Rental Housing Counseling, Rent Stabilization & Other Tenant Protections 
Panelists: Lori Dibble, Policy Coordinator, Manufactured Home Owners Association of NJ; Connie Pascale, Retired Housing Specialist, Legal Services of NJ; Eric Dobson, Director of Community Engagement, Fair Share Housing Center
Moderator: Helen Steblecki, Senior Vice President, State Director of Community Development for Citi in NJ and Community Development Officer for Manhattan and Staten Island
Across the country, tenants are working with housing advocates to create rent control and tenant protection programs. In New Jersey, rent control is dictated by municipality, resulting in varying policies around the state. Some communities having strong rent stabilization ordinances while some provide no protection at all. As rental housing opportunities expand through new fair share agreements, inclusionary zoning and other developments, tenants can benefit from pre-rental counseling to be ready to rent. Learn about programs that are working in other places, like New York City's Ready to Rent initiative and HUD's recommended rental housing guidance, that help renters prepare to make the most of these opportunities. This is a Housing Counseling workshop for HUD-certified housing counselors.

Using Current Tools and Resources to End Homelessness
Taiisa Telesford Kelly, Executive Director, Monarch Housing Associates; Janel Winter, Director of Housing and Community Resource, Department of Housing and Community Development; Melissa Bellamy, Division Head, Div. of Housing, Community Development & Social Services Office of Human Services, Department of Community Services, Middlesex County
Moderator: Dan Antonellis, President, Region Nine Housing
12 New Jersey counties have enacted legislation to create a County Homeless Trust Fund. These counties and the State are utilizing new tools and deploying new resources to end homelessness, including creating permanent affordable homes, helping SSI/SSDI recipients afford their homes and funding supportive services for chronically homeless individuals. In this workshop, you'll learn more about these and other uses for Homeless Trust Funds. You'll also find out more about plans for the newly established Office of Homelessness Prevention, a department created as the result of advocacy from the Network and its members.

Making Our Voices Heard: Advocates Advancing Our Agenda
Panelists: Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition; Brandon McKoy, President, New Jersey Policy Perspective; Sarah Steward, Chief Operating Officer, HomeFront
Moderator: Laura Rodgers, Chief Program Officer, Jewish Family Services of Atlantic and Cape May Counties
We know that change starts at home and that a local policy agenda is the best way to organize and place upward pressure on policymakers in order to meet social needs. How can our local advocates most effectively partner with our state and federal partners to achieve our policy goals, including making sure that Opportunity Starts at Home, the national cross-sector campaign to increase funding for affordable homes, succeeds? Our panel of federal, state, and local advocacy representatives illustrates how grassroots community efforts and federal policy campaigns can complement each other for the win.

Workshop Session II
Women in Development: Building & Empowering
Maria Yglesias, Co-Founder, M & M Development LLC, Leslie Anderson, CEO of New Jersey Redevelopment Authority; Bridget Phifer, Executive Director, Parkside Business and Community in Partnership (PBICP) 
Moderator: Pilar Hogan Closkey, Executive Director, Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society
Women have long been engaged in New Jersey's community development sector and related fields. They're making an impact delivering community-wide, long-term changes that uplift residents and neighborhoods. However, despite so much progress, barriers to full participation persist, especially in securing positions of leadership. Hear from female community development leaders who have fought gender and other biases, and who are creating a space and opportunity for other women along the way.

Under One Roof: Creating Homes by Working Together
The Honorable Gayle Brill Mittler, Mayor of the Borough of Highland Park; Seth Kaper-Dale, Executive Director of the Reformed Church of Highland Park Affordable Housing Corporation; Suzan Fichtner, Executive Director, Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity; Bob Conway, Construction Director, Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity
Moderator: Paige Carlson-Heim, Director of the Office of Charitable Giving & TD Charitable Foundation
Hear lessons learned from our previous and current award winning communities who have succeeded in partnership with community developers. Municipal leaders, community developers and strategic partners will discuss the successes they have had in creating and rehabilitating affordable homes in urban and suburban places around the state. Learn how they overcame challenges in their neighborhoods and how you can build on their accomplishments.

A New Urban Agenda: Tools to Build Thriving Cities
Panelists: The Honorable Wilda Diaz, Mayor of the City of Perth Amboy; The Honorable Andre Sayegh, Mayor of the City of Paterson; The Honorable Reed Gusciora, Mayor of the City of Trenton
Moderator: Alle Ries, Regional Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer, M&T Bank
The Network's "Thriving Cities: A New Urban Agenda" report offers a blueprint for solving challenges facing many NJ cities. There are several new tools available that will help strengthen our communities by addressing some of these challenges including land banks and foreclosure prevention measures. Hear how municipalities are tackling their problem properties and providing neighborhoods with the opportunity to thrive.

Addressing Eviction: Strategies to Protect Families and Communities 
Panelists: Frank Mazza, Deputy Department Director County of Hudson Department of Family Services; Khabirah H. Myers, Esq., Coordinator, Division of Rent Control Board, Office of Tenant Legal Services, Economic and Housing Development, City of Newark; Rebecca Symes, Executive Director, The Waterfront Project
Moderator: Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director, Ironbound Community Corporation
In order to afford a modest two-bedroom home in the Garden State, a family must earn an hourly wage of $28.86, far more than the state's average hourly wage of $18.68. Over 150,000 or 14 percent of all renters faced eviction last year in New Jersey, the fifth most expensive state for renters. Eviction strongly correlates with poverty and economically devastated neighborhoods. Learn how NJ communities are addressing the problem to help families and preserve neighborhoods.

Investments in Housing for Vulnerable Seniors & Veterans
Panelists: Amy Brown, Director of Advocacy/Outreach, I Choose Home NJ, NJ Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Melissa Chalker, Executive Director, NJ Foundation for Aging, Courtney Christenson, Program Manager at Corporation for Supportive Housing; Elena Gaines, assistant director, division of housing, NJ Department of Community Affairs
Moderator: Blair Schleicher Bravo, Executive Director, Morris Habitat for Humanity
Increasingly, hospitals and managed care organizations are redefining their roles and business models to reduce the demand for high cost treatment and preventable conditions for their most acute members. Seniors and veterans with complex medical and social care needs represent a small but costly group of individuals, whose emergency services use can oftentimes be prevented. This session will examine how investments in housing foster stability, improve health and quality of life and the ability for seniors and veterans to live and grow in their community of choice. You'll also hear more about the NJ Department of Community Affairs' veteran's program rollout.

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