Schedule / Sessions - PHFA Commonwealth Housing Forum 

Outside the Box (text with house with roof opening like the top of a box)


May 11-12, 2022

Schedule / Sessions

Wednesday, May 11
  •   8:00 a.m. Exhibitors can begin set-up at Hilton / Registration opens
  • 11:00 a.m. Housing Marketplace opens / PHFA staff meet-and-greet
  • 12:00 p.m. Forum officially begins / Lunch
  • 12:50 p.m. Welcome to the 2022 Housing Forum by PHFA's Robin Wiessmann
  •   1:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ira Goldstein
  •   1:45 p.m. Dessert with Forum exhibitors
  •   2:15 p.m. Travel time to sessions
  •   2:30 p.m. Educational Sessions – A
    •  Sessions include:
        1. Community Development Financing: PHFA Programs and Best Practices
          • This session will highlight two financing programs that PHFA has available to support community development projects across the commonwealth – the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) and the Community Revitalization Fund Program (CRFP). Join a conversation with PHFA staff and grant recipients about best practices to secure and utilize this funding and learn how these funds are being used strategically to revitalize communities across Pennsylvania.
          • Moderators: Clay Lambert, Policy Program Administrator, PHFA; and Shelby Rexrode, Policy Officer, PHFA. Panelists: Tom Boyd, Owner, Big Tom’s Barbershop; Carlos Graupera, Chief Executive Officer, Spanish American Civic Association; Jesse Ergot, President and Chief Executive Officer, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania
        2. The State Housing Tax Credit
          • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has legislated the new State Housing Tax Credit for use in 4% and 9% federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) deals. Come hear about how to apply for and utilize these credits as a source in your LIHTC project.
          • Moderator: Jessica Perry, Director of Development, PHFA. Panelists: Andrew Cohen, Senior Vice President – Development, Woda Cooper Companies; Melissa Grover, Director of Government Affairs, PHFA; Dayle R. Dalling, CPA, Principal, Novogradac & Company LLP.
        3. Hear About HUD Housing Initiatives Directly from the Regional Administrator
          • Housing programs led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development have a major impact on maintaining and expanding affordable housing options in Pennsylvania. We’re pleased that HUD Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Matthew Heckles is able to join us to provide an overview of current HUD programs and a glimpse of what can be expected from HUD during the year. Time will also be provided for asking questions. HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region serves Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
          • Presenter: Matthew Heckles, Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Region III
        4. The Rise of Investors: Ensuring Equitable Neighborhood Outcomes
          • Real estate investors bought 18.4% of all U.S. homes sold at the end of 2021, which was a record share according to Redfin. Communities in Pennsylvania were not immune to this increase in investor activity. In one zip code in Philadelphia, 44% of the homes sold were purchased by investors, and this trend was seen across the state, including places such as Pike, Montgomery, and Chester counties. Research also shows that Black neighborhoods are disproportionately targeted by investors. Join a panel of experts for a discussion that will examine strategies to ensure that existing residents are protected from the effects of increased investor activity in home purchases and explore policies and programs that protect potential homebuyers from being shut out from the market.
          • Moderator: Jimmy Gastner, Community Engagement Associate, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Presenters: David Sanchez, Director of Research and Development, National Community Stabilization Trust; and Nancy Gephart, Partner, Capital Markets at Shift Capital; Tracey Evans, Executive Director, Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation.
        5. Affordable Housing Alternatives: Tiny Houses, Modular Construction and More
          • Stephanie Sena may be most widely known by the public for her efforts involving tiny houses in Philadelphia, but Villanova fellow and instructor Stephanie Sena’s experience and advocacy extends far beyond that initiative. She is the founder and executive director of the Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia, a non-profit community and rehousing center, operating since 2011. The center provides shelter, food, community, legal aid and medical care to individuals experiencing homelessness. SREHUP has a proven track record of success in helping shelter clients achieve housing. This is your chance to experience the passion and innovative ideas of this young, influential housing advocate. Sena is an award winning, “outside-the-box” thinker whose ideas and caring heart are making a positive difference in Philadelphia. Joining Sena will be a representative from a modular multifamily housing company. Learn firsthand about modular for multifamily – how it’s done and its advantages. Time will be provided for Q&A.
          • Presenters: Stephanie Sena, Inaugural Anti-Poverty Fellow, Charles Widger School of Law, Villanova; and Todd Tober, President, Tober Building Company.
        6. Learn about Design Thinking: A Tool for Guiding Creative, ‘Outside the Box’ Problem Solving
          • Some of the world’s leading brands, such as Apple, Google, Samsung and GE, have rapidly adopted the Design Thinking process, and Design Thinking is being taught at leading universities like Stanford, Harvard and MIT. Design Thinking is a proven approach to guide brainstorming by your employees. It’s an iterative process during which you seek to understand the user, challenge current assumptions, and redefine problems in order to identify alternative strategies and solutions for pressing issues or new products or services. It’s a way of thinking and working that promotes innovative, breakthrough outcomes. Annie Hughes, the instructor for this hands-on, interactive workshop, brings 12 years of experience in innovation practice and product development within small and corporate business environments. The Design Thinking process may help your team identify new and better solutions to stubborn and persistent housing challenges.
          • Presenter: Annie Hughes, Director of Harrisburg LaunchBox powered by Penn State and Director of Outreach, Ben Franklin Technology Partners Central-Northern PA
        7. Maximizing Your LIHTC Services Points and Preferences with a Great Plan for Resident Services
          • PHFA believes that services for residents play a critical role in the success of affordable rental housing. Services can make the difference between success and failure. This is why PHFA now requires developers to integrate supportive services into their LIHTC applications. This session will show developers how to write a supportive services plan that will get them maximum points on their application and lead the way for a successful development that residents can healthily and happily call home. Attend this session to: Find out the essentials for Tab 11 and 12; understand the basics of Tab 31 and learn about finding partners for qualifying populations; pick up tips for services plans and budgets; and more.
          • PHFA Presenters: Alicia Spencer, Senior Housing Services Representative; Dawn Bartha, Housing Services Manager; Danielle Rudy, Supportive Housing Officer II; Lisa Scott, Housing Services Representative II; Tawanda Peterson, Housing Services Representative II; and Amanda Stengel, Housing Services Representative.
        8. Walking Tour of the New PHFA Tower and Historic Hickok House (Limited to 30 attendees)
          • With a growing staff in Harrisburg, PHFA decided six years ago to expand its headquarter office on adjacent land. Since it had encouraged multifamily developers applying for tax credits to build to Passive House construction standards, the agency decided to do the same during the office expansion. Construction included a new eight-story tower and a historically sensitive rehabilitation of the 1904 Hickok House, which was also on the property. Both now provide office and conference space for the agency. Most impressive is the dynamic shading of the exterior glass on the tower, which is computer controlled to make the most of solar energy while providing a comfortable interior work environment. Don’t miss this chance to take a guided tour of the first U.S. office building designed to Passive House and LEED Platinum Standards
  •   3:45 p.m. Travel time to sessions
  •   4:00 p.m. Educational Sessions – B
    •  Sessions include:
        1. A Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Update
          • During the last 30 years, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program has become the most successful affordable rental housing production program in history. In Pennsylvania, more than 138,000 units have been created or preserved through the program since its inception. Join a conversation with industry experts about opportunities to strengthen the housing credit program, address housing market trends and expand on investment and community development initiatives. Specific topics will include updates on the 4% LIHTC and income averaging.
          • Moderator: Jessica Perry, Director of Development, PHFA. Panelists: David Doray, Manager of Multifamily Loan Programs, PHFA; Andrew Haines, Executive Vice President, Gatesburg Road Development; and Michelle Yarbrough Korb, Shareholder, Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney.
        2. Reducing Barriers to Homeownership
          • PHFA has made it the agency’s mission to assist potential buyers along their path to successful homeownership. Obtaining a competitive interest rate and saving for down payment and closing costs may be a challenge for many buyers seeking to purchase a home, but PHFA has a variety of mortgage resources available to help alleviate those barriers. Join us as we review PHFA’s home loan programs and purchase assistance products that help many families become successful homeowners.
          • Moderator: April O’Connell, Business Development Manager, PHFA. Presenters: LeigheAnne Wentzel, Business Development Officer, PHFA; Justin Eden, Business Development Officer, PHFA; and Daniel I. Sansary, Executive Director, NHS of Greater Berks and member of NeighborWorks Association of Pennsylvania.
        3. Rural Pennsylvania Housing Surge
          • Despite the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, the number of rural residential property transfers zoomed to new heights. Where did these buyers come from, and what impact are they having in the local housing market are just some of the issues to be examined in this session on the rural housing surge. In addition, this session will highlight the population shift occurring in rural Pennsylvania and how the graying of the population will impact housing.
          • Moderator: Jonathan Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Rural Pennsylvania. Panelists: David Martin, Public Policy Data Analyst, Center for Rural Pennsylvania; and Dr. Kyle Kopko, Executive Director, Center for Rural Pennsylvania.
        4. Federal and State Legislative Update
          • Anyone working in housing must always have an ear to the activity at the federal and state legislative levels for changes that could affect the housing market. Through its policymaking, and by virtue of resources provided, both legislative bodies can powerfully shape opportunities for housing production and preservation. Don’t miss this chance to hear firsthand from key staff and advocates to gain their perspective on the direction of housing policy for the coming year.
          • Moderator: Melissa Grover, Government Affairs Director, PHFA. Panelists: Jennifer Schwartz, Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy, NCSHA; Aaron Zappia, Senior Government Relations Manager, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania; Jane Allen, Policy and Committee Executive Director, Office of Senator Nikil Saval.
        5. PHFA Fellows Share Their Housing Research Vision and Findings
          • PHFA supports an annual research fellowship for the study of issues of interest to the state’s housing professionals. The goal is to promote worthwhile research while encouraging the development of a future housing leader. In this session, a past and a current fellowship recipient share details about their research. While a PHFA fellow, Rachel Fawcett studied community land trusts across the country and their existing application in Pennsylvania to determine their viability as a shared-equity housing model. Carolyn Ristau, whose research is currently underway, is focusing on zoning districts in the city of Pittsburgh to determine whether an exclusionary pattern exists that affects housing availability for residents. Come learn about their research and show support for these young housing professionals.
          • Moderator: Amy Sechrist, Policy Officer, PHFA. Presenters: Rachel Fawcett, Financial and Communications Coordinator, Pennsylvania Housing Research Center, and 2020 PHFA Research Fellow; and Carolyn Ristau, Editor & Zoning Analyst, Details Reviewed LLC, and 2022 PHFA Research Fellow.
        6. Innovative Strategies for Addressing Social Inequalities
          • The last two years have brought to light the injustices and disadvantages faced by several marginalized groups in securing safe, adequate and affordable housing. PHFA is prioritizing the rectification of the disparities faced by many. Learn about the obstacles faced by returning citizens after incarceration, the agency’s response to social inequities, and how some developers are already addressing these issues throughout the commonwealth.
          • Moderator and Panelist: Yashira Aybar, Senior Lending Analyst, PHFA. Panelists: Maria Gonzalez, HACE; James Eash, Senior Development Officer, ACTION-Housing; Kelvin Jeremiah, President & Chief Executive Officer for the Philadelphia Housing Authority; Holly Zugay, Senior Financial Education Officer, PHFA.
  •   5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Networking event in the Housing Marketplace


Thursday, May 12
  •   8:00 a.m. Breakfast
  •   9:00 a.m. Robin Wiessmann's Welcome to Day Two, plus Housing Pioneer Awards
  •   9:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Elliot Eisenberg - "The Economy: The Great Renegotiation"
  • 10:00 a.m. Break
  • 10:15 a.m. Educational Sessions – C
    •  Sessions include:
        1. Barriers to Homeownership: The Latest Research
          • This session will provide attendees the chance to hear from Forum keynote speaker Dr. Ira Goldstein about his research on disparities in the lending process for homebuyers in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, and to ask questions. Joining Dr. Goldstein will be Dr. Lei Ding with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, who has conducted research on the same topic.
          • Moderator: Terri Redmond, Director of Counseling, PHFA. Panelists: Dr. Ira Goldstein, President of Policy Solutions, Reinvestment Fund; and Dr. Lei Ding, Community Development Senior Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
        2. Multifamily GAP Resources During the Post-COVID Era: What They Are and How to Access Them
          • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit developers have faced significant budgetary challenges due to COVID-19. The long-lasting effects of the pandemic include supply disruptions, increased material costs, and reductions in equity pricing. Learn about resources available from PHFA, local municipalities, and private financial institutions to help fill gaps in development budgets so that affordable rental units can continue to be built and preserved.
          • Moderator and Panelist: Jessica Perry, Director of Development, PHFA. Panelist: Megan Krider, Manager, Affordable Housing and Community Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh; Jung-Wook Kim, Director of Planning & Development, Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh.
        3. SOS—Helping Homeowners in Distress
          • The pandemic has shown more than ever the importance of affordable, sustainable homeownership. With more funding and programs available, the resources to combat this crisis are much improved over those available during the calamity following the 2008 bursting of the mortgage bubble. Learn how PHFA continues to be at the forefront of not only helping borrowers achieve the dream of homeownership but ensuring it doesn't become a nightmare. Joining the PHFA panelists will be Larry Cordell, senior vice president of the Risk Assessment, Data Analysis, and Research (RADAR) group, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
          • Presenters: Larry Cordell, Senior Vice President of the Risk Assessment, Data Analysis, and Research (RADAR) group, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; Bryce Maretzki, Director of Policy and Planning, PHFA; Kate Newton, Director of Loan Servicing, PHFA; and Kelly Wilson, Director of HEMAP, PHFA.
        4. Pennsylvania: Constructing Housing in the Land of Local Governments
          • So, you want to do a housing project. One of your first stops should be the municipal building. In Pennsylvania, municipalities are where most of all land-use decisions are made. With more than 2,500 cities, boroughs, and townships, knowing who governs these municipalities and how decisions are made is important before the sketch plan is drawn. It’s also critical to know what types of amenities municipalities can provide such as public safety, recreation, and roadway maintenance. This session will examine the types of municipalities and the local officials who govern them. It will also highlight how municipalities around the commonwealth are planning to spend their $935 million COVID relief funding and conclude with an analysis of municipal land-use tools and their effectiveness.
          • Moderator: David Martin, Public Policy Data Analyst, Center for Rural Pennsylvania. Panelists: Julia Frey, Research Analyst, Pennsylvania Local Government Commission; Jonathan Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Rural Pennsylvania; and Dorothy Ives Dewey, Ph.D., AICP, Professor of Planning, West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
        5. Latest Multifamily Finance Trends in a Changing Market
          • Hear from industry experts on the latest in multifamily finance. From trends in the tax credit markets to updates for HUD, GSE and PHFA loan products and the bond markets, these industry experts will bring you up to speed on the latest developments occurring in the industry and the marketplace.
          • Moderator and Presenter: Jordan Laird, Finance Director, PHFA. Panelists: Alan Jaffe, Managing Director and Head of Public Finance Housing, Real Estate, and Project Finance, Jefferies LLC; Corine Sheridan, SVP and Head of Acquisitions, Berkadia Affordable Tax Credit Solutions; Matt Napoleon, Managing Director, Berkadia Affordable Mortgage Banking
        6. Paving the Path to Success Using New Markets Tax Credits
          • This session highlights the benefits of using New Markets Tax Credits and navigating the challenges and successes along the way. Hear real-life experiences from industry experts, including a representative with Commonwealth Cornerstone Group. (CCG was created in 2004 by PHFA to serve as a nonprofit community development entity.) Topics covered will include:
            • The road to receiving financing
            • Pitching the deal
            • Underwriting the project
            • Acquiring approvals and paperwork
            • Community impacts
            • Navigating the closing and post-closing process
          • Moderator: Wendy Gessner, Director, Commonwealth Cornerstone Group. Panelists: Daria Devlin, Executive Director, Erie Center for Arts and Technology; Jason M. Penn, Manager, Baker Tilly Capital, LLC; Jim Buerger, EVP Chief Lending Officer, Community First Fund; Noel Eisenstat, Principal, Noel Eisenstat, LLC.
        7. Walking Tour of the New PHFA Tower and Historic Hickok House (Limited to 30 attendees)
          • With a growing staff in Harrisburg, PHFA decided six years ago to expand its headquarter office on adjacent land. Since it had encouraged multifamily developers applying for tax credits to build to Passive House construction standards, the agency decided to do the same during the office expansion. Construction included a new eight-story tower and a historically sensitive rehabilitation of the 1904 Hickok House, which was also on the property. Both now provide office and conference space for the agency. Most impressive is the dynamic shading of the exterior glass on the tower, which is computer controlled to make the most of solar energy while providing a comfortable interior work environment. Don’t miss this chance to take a guided tour of the first U.S. office building designed to Passive House and LEED Platinum Standards.
  • 11:30 a.m. Travel time
  • 11:45 a.m. Lunch
  • 12:45 p.m. Remarks on leadership from a former U.S. President
  •   1:10 p.m. Closing comments by PHFA's Robin Wiessmann
  •   1:15 p.m. Forum concludes


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