2016 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference Agenda

Monday, November 14th

12:30 pm-1:00 pm


Check in to get materials for the conference.

1:00 pm-1:15 pm


Kick off the day with a thank you to our planning team and top sponsors.

1:15 pm-2:45 pm

Creative housing partnerships and their outcomes

This workshop will be the first of two to discuss creative partnerships and sources of funding that are either brand new to Vermont or have yet to be tried in our state but have been tested elsewhere. In this session we will hear the origins of the local housing non-profit's relationship with the Medical Center and how that partnership lead to the creation of two new housing programs for the region. The UVM Medical Center invested in two Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) developments and has been tracking the health-related outcomes of residents and will discuss why they consider those good investments. Additionally, CHT will discuss the risks they took as a development partner and what challenges they still face.

2:45 pm-3:00 pm

Networking Break

3:00 pm-4:30 pm

Creative housing funding and their outcomes

This workshop will be the second of two to discuss creative partnerships and sources of funding that are either brand new to Vermont or have yet to be tried in our state but have been tested elsewhere. This session will focus on Social Impact Funding, explaining its origin, housing-related examples from other states, as well as what Vermont has studied and considered so far related to this funding approach. Additionally, the President and CEO of the National Housing Conference will discuss innovative housing funding schemes from other states, including the growth of local housing trust funds and other models that have stemmed from creative partnerships.

4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Networking Reception

Join your peers for some light snacks and a cash bar to digest all you've heard and learned from the day and start planning your conversations you plan to hold the next morning at the Legislative Breakfast Reception. Dinner and accommodations are on your own. Discounted hotel rooms are available through the Hilton Burlington at a rate of $101 plus taxes. To reserve a room at that rate, go to this website set up for this event, or call 1-800-445-8667 and mention the special rate code of VHFA to get the group rate.

Tuesday, November 15th

7:45 am-8:45 am

Registration and Legislative Reception

Network with our state's legislators as you have a continental breakfast and talk about the important housing issues you're seeing in Vermont. Registration will also be open during this time, so come early to check in, get settled, and have some face-to-face time with our state's leaders.

9:00 am-9:30 am

Welcome and Legislative Housing Hero

We'll kick off day 2 of the conference by thanking our generous sponsors. Then we will award this year's Legislative Housing Hero to a current legislator for their contributions to advancing the affordable housing industry in Vermont.

9:30 am-10:30 am

Keynote Address

Kathryn Edin and Luke Schaefer, co-authors of $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, will discuss their work traveling across the country speaking with families living in extreme poverty as well as studying the effects. Through the book's many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge: a low-wage labor market that increasingly fails to deliver a living wage, and a growing but hidden landscape of survival strategies among America's extreme poor.

10:30 am-10:50 am

Book Signing

Authors and keynote speakers Kathryn Edin and Luke Schaefer will be signing copies of their book $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. Phoenix Books in Burlington will be on-site to sell copies of the book prior to and during the event.

10:50 am-11:10 am

Looking towards the future: who and how we house Vermonters

The demographics of New England is shifting and this plays out uniquely in Vermont. At the same time the economics of housing finance have been revolutionized and there have been considerable implications for housing markets across our state. This brief, 20-minute panel discussion will be led by DHCD's Josh Hanford. It will focus on the predictions that an economist and demographer have for our state and region and what they will mean for housing.

11:10 am-11:30 am

Looking towards the future: federal election results

Only one week after a presidential election where potentially the balance of power in Congress might shift, these two Washington DC insiders will give us their assessment of the impact of the election on the political landscape and what, if any, major messages were made clear by the voting. Their afternoon workshop will focus on the housing-related details of what this means for HUD and housing programs, but this fast-paced panel, moderated by Erhard Mahnke of the VT Affordable Housing Coalition, will cover what the election means for the future and what topics will likely be in focus in the new year.

11:30 am-11:50 am

Looking towards the future: state election results

Just a week after the election this long-time State House insider and journalist will discuss not only who won statewide office but also what the makeup of the Legislature will mean for top issues in 2017. What will the big topics be for the coming legislative session and what can we expect for housing? A more in-depth discussion of potential committee leadership and what specific initiatives are likely to be put forth in 2017 will happen in the State Policy workshop later in the afternoon. Kenn Sassorossi from Housing Vermont will moderate.

11:50 am-12:10 pm

Looking towards the future: how to best address homelessness and poverty

There is a growing awareness of the connection between housing and health outcomes. In addition, there's greater understanding for the impact that homelessness, generational poverty, and trauma can have on both children and adults. This fast-moving interview with the Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Human Services and Children's Health Watch's Senior Policy Analyst will give the audience the latest research, findings, and most promising models of housing and serving these vulnerable populations.

12:15 pm-1:15 pm


Buffet lunch. Please indicate in your registration if you have any food sensitivities. We will also award one of the Housing Hero awards during lunch.

1:15 pm-1:30 pm

Governor-elect (invited)

The conference will be held one week after the Vermont gubernatorial election and both candidates will be invited to address the audience on his/her vision of housing in Vermont.

1:45 pm-3:15 pm

Housing 101

This returning and ever-popular workshop will give you all the basics about Vermont's affordable housing landscape: state and federal agencies, our housing delivery system, major issues and concepts. It will also provide an overview of the confusing alphabet soup of different housing programs and organizations and the housing development process itself.

3:15 pm-3:30 pm


3:30 pm-5:00 pm

Housing 102

Vermont's lowest income and most vulnerable citizens face the greatest housing challenges. Learn about resources that help meet the needs of the state's homeless, seniors, people on fixed incomes, the working poor and Vermonters with physical and mental health disabilities.

5:00 pm-6:00 pm

Networking Reception

Join us in the Seasons Room, with its view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, to mingle with the state's top housing industry leaders and professionals. We'll have hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and lots to discuss after a full day.