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Thursday, July 9, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CDT
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This is an online event. 



Terre McLendon, Secretary 

Housing Conversations:

2020 Vision for Affordable Housing 

 Join ACHANGE and the Arkansas Bankers Association for a virtual conversation about affordable housing in Arkansas during this challenging time of pandemic and economic uncertainty, potentially creating a deluge of evictions and future homeowner defaults, featuring the Brookings Institute's Andre Perry and local housing experts.

About the Webinar

 Affordable housing in Arkansas constantly evolves. Challenges with quality, quantity, location and other factors have contributed to the current affordable housing landscape in the state. And then there is 2020, a year in which a pandemic has challenged everyone to adjust how we navigate all our systems.

Housing Conversations, an ACHANGE convening series, will explore the ongoing challenges of providing affordable housing in Arkansas along with a perspective on the impact COVID-19 is having on the industry. Join (virtually) the Arkansas Coalition of Housing and Neighborhood Growth for Empowerment (ACHANGE) and the Arkansas Bankers Association on July 9th for Housing Conversations: 2020 Vision for Affordable Housing.

This engaging webinar will feature Dr. Andre Perry, a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, a scholar-in-residence at American University, and a columnist for the Hechinger Report. A nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality and education, Perry is a regular contributor to MSNBS and has been published by The New York Times, The Nation, Washington Post, and Perry has also made appearances on CNN, PBS, National Public Radio, NBC, and ABC. His research focuses on race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion. Perry’s recent scholarship at Brookings has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on valuable assets worthy of increased investment. He is the author of Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities, which was released by Brookings Institution Press in May 2020. A native of Pittsburg, PA, Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland College Park.

Following Dr. Perry’s presentation, a facilitated respondent panel discussion will be led by Faith Weekly, Community Development Advisor for Neighborhoods and Housing with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Eighth District. Weekly works with banks, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to develop programs that promote affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization across the Eighth District. She also facilitates partnerships to increase access to credit in underserved communities, and provides technical assistance to community organizations to build organizational capacity, develop project financing strategies and obtain funding sources.

Members of the respondent panel are:

Kendell Lewellen, Managing Attorney with the Center for Arkansas Legal Services. Lewellen manages the Center’s Fort Smith and Russellville offices as well as housing advocacy across forty-four Arkansas counties. A Little Rock native, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College and a Juris Doctor from the William H. Bowen School of Law. After law school, she obtained a fellowship funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve and preserve project-based Section 8 housing through the VISTA Affordable Housing Preservation Project. In 2017, she served on the Steering Committee for the Little Rock Health Impact of Housing Project to examine the barriers to stable and quality housing for people living south of Interstate 6-30 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her work currently focuses on helping Arkansans maintain stable housing during COVID-19.

Gerald Turner, CEO of the HEAL Collective. Turner has extensive experience in the areas of community, economic and real estate development, having managed and developed over 2,000 units of housing totaling $650 million in value for various public, private and non-profit corporations. Notable accomplishments include the development of Potters Lane, the first Permanent Supportive Housing community constructed with shipping containers targeted for chronically homeless veterans and management of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for the City of Los Angeles Housing Department. Turner has focused extensively on real estate development initiatives to spur the creation and retention of jobs and reconnecting neighborhoods to educational, commercial, workplace and health services.

Leon Jones, Executive Director of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission. Jones serves on several boards and commissions including the Arkansas Housing Trust Fund. He is a past Commissioner of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission and the Fayetteville Housing Authority. Mr. Jones is active in the Arkansas Bar Association and recently became a member of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission is a quasijudicial, regulatory, enforcement agency that works in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to enforce fair housing rules and regulations. With Act 1785 of 2001, the Arkansas Legislature affirms that the opportunity to obtain housing and other real estate without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status is recognized and declared to be a civil right.

The event is free but is limited to 250 persons. Prior to the event, each registered participant will receive an email containing the Webex link to the event.