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Pre-Conference Lunch with Housing Washington Virtual Sessions are FREE but registration required.

Lunch Speakers
Photo of Rasheedah Phillips, Director of Housing at PolicyLink
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Rasheedah Phillips

Director of Housing at PolicyLink

Thursday, September 15, 2023  |  12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Rasheedah Phillips, Director of Housing, leads PolicyLink’s national advocacy to support the growing tenants’ rights, housing, and land use movements in partnership with grassroots partners, movement leaders, industry, and government leaders. Previously serving as Managing Attorney of Housing Policy at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, Ms. Phillips led various housing policy campaigns that resulted in significant legislative changes, including a right to counsel for tenants in Philadelphia, and the Renter’s Access Act, one of the strongest laws in the nation to address blanket ban eviction polices having a disparate impact on renters of color.

She has trained on racial justice and housing law issues and skills throughout the country, previously serving as the Senior Advocate Resources & Training Attorney at Shriver Center on Poverty Law. Her leadership has been recognized with the recipient of the 2017 National Housing Law Project Housing Justice Award, the 2017 City & State Pennsylvania 40 Under 40 Rising Star Award, the 2018 Temple University Black Law Student Association Alumni Award, and more. Rasheedah is also an interdisciplinary Afrofuturist artist and cultural producer who has exhibited and performed work globally.

Photo of Dr. Leah Stokes, Associate Professor, Anton Vonk and affiliated University of California
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Dr. Leah Stokes

Associate Professor, Anton Vonk and affiliated University of California

Thursday, September 21, 2023  |  12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Dr. Stokes is an Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Political Science. She is also affiliated with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). In 2022, she was named an advocate on TIME100 Next, and as one of Business Insider’s top 30 global leaders working toward climate solutions.

Dr. Stokes works on energy, climate and environmental politics. Within American Politics, her work focuses on representation and public opinion; voting behavior; and public policy. Within environmental politics, she researches climate change, renewable energy, water and chemicals policy.

Her book, Short Circuiting Policy, examines the role that utilities have played in promoting climate denial and rolling back clean energy laws. It was named the Best Energy Book of 2020 by the American Energy Society,  listed as a top 5 climate book from 2020 by The New York Times, and won three awards from the American Political Science Association. She also contributed to the anthology All We Can Save, which is a New York Times bestselling collection of essays written by influential women in the climate space. She is a Senior Policy Counsel at Rewiring America and co-host the podcast “A Matter of Degrees.” 

Her academic research has been published in top journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Nature Energy, Energy Policy, and Environmental Science & Technology. Her work was also published articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, CNN and elsewhere and is frequently quoted in national media.

She completed my PhD in Public Policy in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning’s Environmental Policy & Planning group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Stokes also received a masters from MIT's Political Science Department. Before that, she completed an MPA in Environmental Science & Policy at the School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. I also have a BSc in Psychology and East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto. Prior to academia, she worked at the Parliament of Canada and Resources for the Future.

Photo of Chris Herbert, Managing Director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
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Chris Herbert

Managing Director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

Thursday, September 28, 2023  |  12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Chris Herbert is Managing Director of the Center. Dr. Herbert has extensive experience conducting research related to housing policy and urban development, both in the US and abroad. A key focus of his research has been on the financial and demographic dimensions of homeownership, and the implications for housing policy. Having previously worked at the Center in the 1990s, Herbert rejoined the Center in 2010 from Abt Associates, to serve as the Director of Research. In this role, Dr. Herbert led the team responsible for producing the Center’s annual State of the Nation’s Housing and its biennial America’s Rental Housing reports, essential resources for both public and private decision makers in the housing industry.

Dr. Herbert was named managing director of the Center in 2015, and oversees the Center’s diverse sponsored research programs, its local and national conferences and symposia, as well as its student fellowship programs, designed to help train and inspire the next generation of housing leaders. He is also a Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the Department of Urban Planning and Design. Dr. Herbert is co-editor of A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality (2018) and Homeownership Built to Last: Balancing Access, Affordability, and Risk After the Housing Crisis (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Freddie Mac and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. He holds a PhD and Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a BA in History from Dartmouth College.

Photo of David Bradley
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David Bradley

Executive Director, National Community Action Fund

Friday, September 29, 2023   |  12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

David is a regular contributor to Housing Washington offering valuable insights into the Washington DC world. For more than 30 years, David, co-founder and CEO of NCAF, has been one of Washington’s leading advocates on behalf of low-income programs. In 1981, David helped found the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF). As a private non-profit organization funded solely by non-governmental contributions, NCAF represents funding and policy interests of the nation’s 1000 community action agencies before Congress and the Executive Branch. David currently acts as NCAF's Chief Executive Officer. In this role at NCAF, David was the primary architect of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Besides the CSBG, David’s legislative activities include the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Head Start and job training programs. In an age in which partisan gridlock is too often the norm, David has shown an uncanny ability to make poverty issues a concern to both parties. After facing elimination in the 1995 House Republican’s Contract with America, David was able to work with key House Republican leaders to ensure CSBG funding procured the largest percentage received of any domestic program in FY 1997. In his role at NCAF, David has also helped power CAPLAW, a legal resource center for the Community Action Agencies (CAA) network and CAPPAC, a Political Action Committee.

Leah Rothstein


Meet this year's speakers.

Priya Jayachandran
Jelani Cobb
Photo of Leah Rothstein, Author


Leah Rothstein


Understanding systemic racism and how it came about is key to addressing it and no team has studied it more than Richard Rothstein and Leah Rothstein, Co-Authors of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, and her new book, Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted.


The books Leah Rothstein co-authored are acclaimed as brilliantly recounting how government at all levels created segregation. Just Action describes how we can begin to undo it.


In her best-selling book The Color of Law, Leah demolished the de facto segregation myth that black and white Americans live separately by choice, providing “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to the reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). This landmark work—through its nearly one million copies sold—has helped to define the fractious age in which we live.


The Color of Law’s unrefuted account has become conventional wisdom. But how can we begin to undo segregation’s damage? “It’s rare for a writer to feel obligated to be so clear on solutions to the problems outlined in a previous book,” writes E. J. Dionne, yet Richard Rothstein—aware that twenty-first-century segregation continues to promote entrenched inequality—has done just that, teaming with housing policy expert Leah Rothstein to write Just Action, a blueprint for concerned citizens and community leaders.


Autographed copies of both Leah's books will be available onsite at Housing Washington.

Photo of Priya Jayachandran, CEO, National Housing Trust (NHT)


Priya Jayachandran

CEO, National Housing Trust (NHT)

For a national perspective on affordable housing today, we can look no further than Priya Jayachandran, our luncheon keynote speaker. Her experience leading National Housing Trust (NHT), a Washington D.C. based nonprofit, focusing on affordable housing preservation, she will address the economic issues surrounding affordable housing today.


Priya came to NHT from Volunteers of America, where she served as the Senior Vice President of Affordable Housing Development. In this role, she managed the strategic direction and development of affordable rental housing and led the development, acquisition and/or recapitalization of housing and other real estate projects nationwide.


Previously Priya worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, which she joined in September 2014 as a Senior Policy Advisor to help Federal Housing Administration's work with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. In December of the same year, she also assumed Acting Directorship of the Program Administration Office, Multifamily's front office. In December of 2015, she stepped in to the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs.

Photo of Steven Olikara, Founder & Former CEO of Millennial Action Project (MAP


Steven Olikara

Founder & Former CEO of Millennial Action Project (MAP)

Steven Olikara is the Founder & Former CEO of Millennial Action Project (MAP), the largest nonpartisan organization of young lawmakers in the U.S. Steven is also a nationally recognized political commentator and has been featured on CNN, NBC, Fox News, NPR, Washington Post, USA Today, and more. He recently made history as the first South Asian candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, where he ran on a platform to renew democracy. Steven has testified before Congress on millennial entrepreneurship and small business issues and is the subject of the documentary film, The Reunited States, available on Amazon Prime and PBS. He is a frequent keynote speaker on leadership and civic engagement at venues such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, World Affairs Councils, the White House, Harvard's Institute of Politics, the National Press Club, SXSW, and the United Nations.


Previously, Steven has advised two multi-platinum recording artists on youth empowerment and sustainable energy initiatives, including Akon Lighting Africa which electrified over 1 million homes in Africa with solar power. An avid musician, he is co-author of the book, JFK: THE LAST SPEECH, on the role of artists in democracy. He also hosted the “Meeting in Middle America” podcast series featuring guests such as Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley and Emmy-winning comedian Charlie Berens. Steven serves on numerous Boards focused on causes close to his heart: human rights, democracy, national service, and the performing arts. Steven has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Law & Policy in 2017, a Truman Scholar, and a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.

Photo of Jelani Cobb, Dean, Columbia Journalism, Columbia University


Jelani Cobb

Dean, Columbia Journalism, Columbia University

In the fight for racial justice, we must face the past to forge a better future, says our closing keynoter, Jelani Cobb, New Yorker Staff Writer, Columbia Journalism School Dean, and prominent speaker on race, history, politics and culture in America, Lelani emerges as a clear voice in the fight for a better America.


A PBS Frontline correspondent for two critically acclaimed documentaries, Policing the Police and Whose Vote Counts, Jelani explores the enormous complexities of race and inequality, while offering guidance and hope for the future. A long-time writer for The New Yorker and editor of its recent anthology collection The Matter of Black Lives, Cobb’s work is described as having the “rigor and depth of a professional historian with the alertness of a reporter, the liberal passion of an engaged public intellectual, and the literary flair of a fine writer.”


New to Housing Washington, Jelani brings decades of experience to bear in his highly anticipated closing address at Housing Washington. 

Steve Olikara
Session Speakers


Meet this year's speakers.

Photo Holly Anderson, Asset Manager, Catholic Charities

Holly Anderson, Asset Management Program Manager, Catholic Charities Housing Services – Diocese of Yakima (CCHS)


Holly Anderson has worked with CCHS since 2009. Anderson is currently managing the CCHS Asset Management program (9 years) and previously managed the Housing Development program (5 years). CCHS develops, owns and manages a variety of affordable housing developments that serve vulnerable, underserved, low-income populations in Central Washington. CCHS provides asset management to over 1,000 affordable multifamily units at 30 rural locations.


Working in the housing industry since 1992, Anderson was the Associate Broker for the largest real estate development company in Alaska. Anderson also spent two years as a Regional Property Manager for an 800-unit multifamily housing portfolio in the Portland Metro Area. 


Anderson is a Certified Housing Asset Manager, and a Certified Rental Housing Development Finance Professional. Anderson graduated from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice in 1996.

Photo of Michael Anderson, Director of the Housing Trust Fund Project for Community Change

Michael Anderson, Director of the Housing Trust Fund Project for Community Change


Michael, Director for the Housing Trust Fund Project, is based in Portland, Oregon. Michael provides technical assistance and support to state and local coalitions working to establish and strengthen housing trust funds that dedicate public revenue to creating and preserving affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes. Michael has particular expertise in effective communication strategies for advancing affordable housing public policy.


Prior to coming to the Center, he was the Executive Director of the Oregon Opportunity Network. Michael worked extensively with Oregon’s Housing Alliance, which secured dedicated funding for the state’s housing trust fund in 2009, and Affordable Housing NOW!, which secured dedicated funding for affordable housing in Portland in 2007. In 2003, Michael and 30 other Oregon housing leaders participated in a Messaging Think Tank that developed a values-based framing strategy to communicate with elected officials more effectively, the media and the general public.

Photo of Elliott Barnett, Senior Planner, City of Tacoma

Elliott Barnett, Senior Planner, City of Tacoma


Elliott has worked as an urban planner, in one capacity or another, since 2001. He was drawn to planning out of a heartfelt enthusiasm for great urban spaces and experiences, and an equally heartfelt concern about the long term sustainability of our environment. Planning has been a rewarding career which has brought Elliott from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to the City of Groningen in the Netherlands, and finally to the Puget Sound region. Elliott and his wife moved to Tacoma about 16 years ago. They put down roots and are happy to be raising two boys in this lovely city.


As a planner for the City of Tacoma, Elliott has worked on a range of policy initiatives including parks and open space planning, residential design and infill, active transportation and complete streets planning and design, and subarea planning. Some of his recent accomplishments include the Tacoma Mall Neighborhood Subarea Plan and the Prairie Line Trail Historic Interpretive Project. Elliott grew up in Oakland, CA, got his Bachelors in French Language and Literature in Eugene, OR, and received his Masters of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2000.

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Marisol Bello, Executive Director Housing Narrative Lab


Currently serving as Executive Director at the Housing Narrative Lab, Marisol Bello (she/her) has spent a career championing the stories and voices of people with lived experience, so they lead in creating the solutions that help every family thrive. First as a career journalist – most recently at USA TODAY – telling the stories of families working to make ends meet, and then in the nonprofit world, where she led narrative strategies to change hearts and minds about those living on the brink and move people to action. A first generation American from a Caribbean family full of colorful storytellers, Marisol is originally from the Bronx. She lives in Washington, DC with her family and a pandemic puppy named Chloe.

Max Benson, Director of Real Estate Development, Community Frameworks

Max Benson, Director of Real Estate Development, Community Frameworks


Max Benson is the Director of Real Estate Development for Community Frameworks and has been developing affordable housing in Washington State since 2004.  During that time he has developed housing and community facilities both for Community Frameworks portfolio as well as for other non-profits and housing authorities across the state as a development consultant.  Many of his clients are smaller agencies and he attempts to build their capacity as well as sustainable, durable housing with each project.  Like many of the presenters, Max has a Masters of Science in Planning and enjoys outdoor activities in his free time.

Photo of Karen Bunce, Grants Director, Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Karen Bunce, Grants Director, Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Karen has vast experience with Program Administration, Product Management, Grants, Communications and Business Development.

Photo of Steve Butler, Planning & Policy Manager, Municipal Research and Service Center (MRSC)

Steve Butler, Planning & Policy Manager, Municipal Research and Service Center (MRSC)


Steve Butler joined MRSC in February 2015 as a Planning Consultant as well as the manager of the policy team. He has been involved in most aspects of community planning for over 30 years, both in the public and private sectors.  Steve has served as president of statewide planning associations in both Washington and Maine and was elected to the American Institute of Certified Planner’s College of Fellows in 2008. He received a B.A. from St. Lawrence University (Canton, New York) and a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Photo of AJ Cari, Senior Program Officer, LISC Puget Sound

AJ Cari, Senior Program Officer, LISC Puget Sound


AJ and leads its Housing Equity Accelerator program. AJ has always been driven to serve his community in ways that create access to opportunities, reduce barriers and ultimately uplift neighborhoods as diverse and thriving places to live, work and play. AJ brings to LISC a wealth of experience in community and economic development including affordable housing, new markets tax credits, finance and small business support.


As an affordable housing developer at Beacon Development Group, he worked with housing providers across the state of Washington to bring housing projects from inception to operations. He developed more than $130M in projects that ranged from rural and farm worker housing to historic rehab, serving families, veterans and formerly homeless individuals.  At the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, as a Small Business Finance Advisor and Asset Manager, he managed the city’s NMTC and HUD 108 programs, overseeing a portfolio of more than 15 projects worth over $300M, as well as the allocation of $28M of NMTC leveraging a total of $100M in community development projects.


Additionally, as a Small Business Advocate, AJ provided support and technical assistance to small businesses. He created a bilingual resource center to help small businesses, especially those that have been marginalized and underserved, access and navigate the full spectrum of complex recovery resources from private, local, state, and federal agencies.


AJ graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s in geography and master’s in urban planning. AJ is looking forward to bringing the full breadth of his experience in establishing and strengthening the presence of LISC Puget Sound.  In his free time, AJ enjoys spending time with his family in the mountains and rivers in the beautiful PNW.

Photo of Frank Chopp, Washington State House of Representatives

Frank Chopp, Washington State House of Representatives

Rep. Chopp first came to the legislature as a community organizer for building housing and fighting poverty. For 20 years he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives where he worked as One Washington on many issues to improve lives of everyday people. In the last two legislative sessions, the world changed significantly as a result of the pandemic. State legislators responded to a massive new public health emergency and to challenges that have gone on for years.

He remains committed to building on the success of the previous legislative sessions in which he made college free for those who need it the most, secured millions of dollars in funding to build homes, greatly increased funding for basic education, made child care more affordable, and so much more. He made historic progress towards improving the lives of millions, by focusing on the priorities and needs of people across Washington

Photo of Amy Clark, Associate Director, RALLY

Amy Clark, Associate Director, RALLY

A seasoned communications strategist, Amy brings her expertise in earned media, message development and digital strategy to her work motivating people from all walks of life to care – and to take action. With a passion for authentic storytelling in her work supporting advocates for education equity, affordable housing, walkable communities and economic justice, Amy believes deeply that lasting change is possible when impacted people take the lead in advocating for their own futures. Amy stays connected to her community as a volunteer with local nonprofits, and loves to get her steps in during election season registering voters and getting out the vote.

Photo of Ericka Coveny, Washington State University Energy Program

Ericka Coveny, Washington State University Energy Program

Erika has more than a decade of experience in program development, management, and implementation. Erika is experience in conducting requirements analysis, resource allocation, project costing, deliverable tracking, financial data monitoring, and reporting show in her every day work. Strong focus on providing quality customer experience and proven ability to lead and support cross-functional teams and development and deployment activities.

Alison Dean, President, HNN Communities

Alison Dean, President, HNN Communities

As the President of HNN Communities, Alison is responsible for running all facets of the business. She has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience building and managing programs, effectively restructuring departments, and overseeing organizational strategic planning. Prior to joining HNN in 2016, where she served as the Director of Operations and Strategy for five years, Alison built a successful career in both for-profit and non-profit industries specializing in system analysis and implementation, budget modeling, improving curriculum, and residential program development.


She leads the participation and development of the organization’s vision, policies, and objectives while providing directives and support to the leadership team. She is well versed in developing and interpreting analytical reports used to measure change and believes in leading by example. Alison actively promotes ethics and compliance policies across the organization, as well as ensuring the team upholds the organization’s mission and values.


Alison received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Bucknell University. She has also earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Immaculata University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Temple University. A former professional ballet dancer, Alison is actively involved with multiple arts-based non-profits in the Seattle region. You can often find her out and about on her boat spending time with her family, husband, and Labradors Bella and Philly, enjoying the beautiful water in and around the PNW.

Photo of Nia Duggins, Policy Representative for Business Issues, National Association of Realtors

Nia Duggins, Policy Representative for Business Issues, National Association of Realtors

Nia is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and Bennet College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Before coming to NAR, Nia was a compliance officer for the Mary Elizabeth House in Washington D.C. for nearly three years, working closely with the D.C. government to ensure compliance with employment law matters and building relationships with community leaders. Nia previously clerked at various law firms and the D.C. superior court, has legislative experience under Senator Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, and interned at Fannie Mae.

Photo of Stacy Dym, Executive Director, The Arc of Washington State

Stacy Dym, Executive Director, The Arc of Washington State

Stacy Dym has a 30-year history in the disability rights field. She is the Executive Director for The Arc of Washington State, an 87-year-old organization founded on promoting and protecting the human and civil rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Stacy was previously the Executive Director of The Arc of King County, and formerly directed Governor Inslee’s Office of the Education Ombuds where over half of all cases involved children with disabilities. 


She began working in Washington state at the Dussault Law Group, a disability rights law firm specializing in mediation and litigation of special education cases on behalf of parents following her 8 year tenure at the Disability Law Center of Alaska.  She is a trained special education teacher and mediator.  Most importantly, Stacy is a sibling of someone with a developmental disability.  Her sister Colleen lives in the community close to her family and friends. 

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Senator Noel Frame, 36th Legislative District, D-Seattle

Noel Frame (she/her) has represented the people of the 36th Legislative District as their state senator since January 2023, after having served the district as state representative beginning in January 2016.


Noel is an award-winning legislator, having been honored more than 15 times for her work advocating for youth involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, expanding services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges, championing economic development, and fixing the state’s upside-down tax code. She takes on many of the toughest challenges facing our state – reforming our criminal legal system, building more affordable housing, strengthening, and investing in the diverse communities that make up Washington state, balancing our tax code, and more.


In 2023, she serves as vice chair of the Senate Housing Committee, vice chair of the Senate Business, Financial Services, Gaming & Trade Committee, and as a member of the Senate Human Services Committee. She previously served as the chair of the House Finance Committee.


In addition to her role in the state Legislature, Noel is a small business owner and partner of BDS Planning & Urban Design, a community development consulting firm located in Belltown. She is a facilitator, organizer, strategist, and engagement specialist with more than 20 years’ experience in the non-profit, private, public, and political sectors.


Noel and her husband Jim live in Greenwood with their toddler, Holden. She has lived in the 36th District since 2005 and is originally from Battle Ground, in southwest Washington. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University in Washington, DC.

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Kevin Freibott, MA ORGL, Senior Planner for the City of Spokane, Washington

Kevin has been serving as a professional planner for eighteen years while providing environmental, regional, tribal, and urban planning services to numerous communities throughout the western United States. Kevin served as an urban and environmental planning consultant in several states while working out of California and Washington.  


Following that, he spent four years working as a tribal planner for the Kalispel Tribe in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.  Most recently, he has served the last eight years as a long range Planner for the City of Spokane.  Kevin’s focus is comprehensive planning and policy development, as well as data analysis, demographics, public engagement, and applications of technology in Planning, though like all practicing planners, Kevin participates in a wide range of efforts and projects. 


Kevin has managed multiple projects for the City of Spokane, most notably the City’s recent development of a package of Comprehensive Plan amendments advancing the development of middle housing in the City, known as Building Opportunity for Housing.  This effort included one of the largest and most expansive public engagement strategies undertaken by the City since the original writing of the Comprehensive Plan. 

Photo of Brooke Gibson, HomeSight

Brooke Gibson, HomeSight

Brooke Gibson is a full-time lending professional, with an educational and professional background. She  has a genuine passion for helping people become homeowners, increasing Black homeownership, and building generational wealth. Fully committed to offering the highest level of professionalism throughout the entire process, she will be there to guide you, every step of the way. Clients can feel confident in knowing their best interests come first. A south Seattle native and proud mother of two children, she believes strongly in giving back to her community. She has a dedication to exceptional client service, working to provide her clients with a successful and memorable outcome.  As a loan originator, Brooke is excited to help low to moderate income folks realize their American dreams of homeownership.

Jacob B. Gonzalez, Director, Community & Economic Development, City of Pasco

Jacob B. Gonzalez, Director, Community & Economic Development, City of Pasco

Jacob joined the City of Pasco in 2018 and has recently been appointed as Director of Community and Economic Development. Jacob is particularly focused on developing strategies that increase access to housing and transportation. Before joining the City, he worked with several organizations such as the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments, Puget Sound Regional Council, and the Port of Seattle.

Jacob has served on several boards, including United Way, the US Census Transportation Planning Committee, and the Downtown Pasco Development Authority. Currently, he is serving on the Washington State Main Street Advisory Committee and with Washington’s Transportation Choices Coalition.

Jacob is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in geography and is currently pursuing his master’s in public administration from Claremont Lincoln University. When he is not working, he enjoys traveling across the United States and internationally, documenting his travels with his camera.

Photo of Lisa Hagen, Director of Asset Management, Community Roots Housing

Lisa Hagen, Director of Asset Management, Community Roots Housing

Lisa worked in commercial real estate valuation for seven years before joining Community Roots Housing in 2015 to pursue a more fulfilling career in nonprofit affordable housing. She earned a BBA in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin and is a CHAM Certified Asset Management Specialist. She has a passion for solving complex problems, collaborative teamwork, and making a positive impact through her work. Lisa has developed deep knowledge of Community Roots’ real estate portfolio, leading the implementation of a Business Intelligence System that stores a variety of key data to inform decisions benefiting our residents and promoting equity. Lisa loves to spend her free time hiking, backpacking, and gardening.

Sidonie Harkness, Portfolio Manager, Bellwether Housing

Sidonie Harkness, Portfolio Manager, Bellwether Housing

Sidonie has been in the multi-family affordable housing business since 2010. She has been performing in almost all aspect of property management including living on-site, to site manager, lease up of a brand-new building, to asset manager, to regional director of permanent support housing and now portfolio manager. Today she is still boots on the ground supporting her team to achieve KPI and hitting the mark for their own career goals. She enjoys training and teaching leadership through the work that our site managers do every day. Today’s climate can be difficult for our site manager, and she wants to be there to show guidance on how to navigate property management processes and procedures.

Michelle Hawley,  Director of Property Management, Bellwether Housing

Michelle Hawley,  Director of Property Management, Bellwether Housing

Michelle Hawley brings over 25 years of experience in affordable housing to her role as the Director of Property Management of Bellwether Housing. As Director, Michelle oversees Bellwether’s largest team, managing operations of 35 buildings that serve over 5,000 residents in 3,000 apartments. Michelle monitors building performance, state, local and funder compliance, staff training and development, and the resident experience living at Bellwether properties.  

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and currently serves on the Affordable Housing Management Associations’ Board of Directors.

Laura Hodgson, Senior Planner, Growth Management Services, Washington State Department of Commerce

Laura Hodgson, Senior Planner, Growth Management Services, Washington State Department of Commerce

Laura Hodgson is a Senior Planner in the Growth Management Services unit at the Washington State Department of Commerce. Laura currently supports local governments updating their housing elements as communities take a more active role to plan for and accommodate housing needs of all incomes and address racially disparate impacts, exclusion and displacement. She recently oversaw the development of guidance for communities updating their housing elements with HB 1220 (laws of 2021). Previously, Laura oversaw the $5M HB 1923 Increasing Residential Building Capacity grant program administered by Commerce, administered technical assistance to grantees and supported development of guidance for these grants. She has been with the Commerce since January 2020. Prior to working at Commerce, she was a county land use and transportation planner in Maryland and worked for consulting firms doing transportation and urban planning. Laura has a Bachelor’s of Architecture and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech.

Jody Hunter, Director of Compliance, HNN Communities

Jody Hunter, Director of Compliance, HNN Communities

Jody has over 17 years of multifamily housing experience, including 15 years focused on Section 42 Tax Credit
housing. She is highly proncient at analyzing, researching, and collaborating with others to overcome complex problems and achieve top results. Jody relies on her extensive knowledge of the tax credit program to effectively lead the Compliance Department's robust training program. She displays a strong personal
commitment to success and the company s mission.

Jody holds several industry credentials including a Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM), Housing
Credit Certified Professional (HCCP), and Novagradac Property Compliance Certification (NPCC).

Jody enjoys camping and spending time with friends and family.

Photo of Tracy Kaufman, Senior Advisor/Consultant with NCSHA

Tracy Kaufman, Senior Advisor/Consultant with NCSHA

Tracy is supporting the development of housing finance agency partnerships with hospitals, health systems, and other health organizations to expand financing for affordable housing development and preservation through the Healthy Housing, Healthy Community (H3C) Partnerships Program. Tracy worked at the National Housing Trust in various leadership capacities for over 18 years. As Chief Operating Officer and Director of the National Preservation Initiative, Tracy was a vital member of a senior leadership team that drove the high impact, award-winning organization. Tracy led the pivot from a primary focus on federal policy to growing state policy, building, and guiding a powerful policy department of nationally recognized performers. She directed a host of high-impact strategic, operational, and public policy activities and successfully launched and directed groundbreaking nationwide state and local policy initiatives. Before joining NHT, Tracy worked for the Aspen Systems Corporation and the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Tracy earned a bachelor’s degree from Tuft.  

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Suzanne Koval, Senior Asset Manager, GMD Development

Suzanne has more than 25 years of experience in Property Management with over 15 years in multi-family affordable housing management and development. She has a proven track record of managing complex assets and serving the needs of the community. She is committed to crafting asset management policy and advocacy for preservation, sustainability, expansion, and development of affordable housing in our communities. Suzanne has effectively implemented asset management policies and procedures designed to effectively and efficiently operate affordable housing portfolios in a sustainable and proactive manner.


She holds a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation and a Managing Broker license with the State of Washington along with STAR515, COS, C3P designations. She received her Bachelor’s degree and Masters in Policy Studies from the University of Washington. In her spare time, she can be found outdoors enjoying the mountains and the Puget Sound on foot, kayak, or bike.

Photo of Samya Lutz, City of Bellingham

Samya Lutz, City of Bellingham

Samya works collaboratively with the Bellingham community and beyond on issues around housing stability and development as the Housing & Services Program Manager for the City of Bellingham. She brings over 25 years of experience to her work, inclusive of long-range land use policy planning, agricultural conservation, urban design, housing development, risk analysis, and adaptive management. She has strong commitments to equity planning, understanding personal histories and complex needs, and working toward creative and collaborative solutions. She is equally comfortable on a farm or out on the water as in the office, and loves a spreadsheet more than the average person. She helps people and agencies understand and navigate the complex regulations and policies that affect them, and works for user-friendly and effective programs and projects that support a healthy, equitable, and strong community.

Photo of Patience Malaba, Executive Director

Patience Malaba, Executive Director, Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County

As Executive Director, Patience leads the association in a shared effort to increase access to affordable housing. She is recognized for her leadership in addressing the intersecting crises of affordable housing, racial equity, and climate change and is the 2020 Bullitt Foundation Environmental Fellowship awardee. A commitment to environmental and economic justice and her passion for an equitable society led her directly to the affordable housing sector. Prior to this role, she served as HDC’s Director of Government Relations and Policy. Previous positions include work with Seattle for Everyone, a broad coalition that was central to the success of Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), Futurewise, and the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 6. Patience co-chairs the Eastside Housing Roundtable, co-chairs Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC)’s Regional TOD Advisory Committee, Chairs the Seattle Planning Commission Housing and Neighborhoods Committee, and serves on the PSRC Growth Management Policy Board. She serves on the board of directors of the Transportation Choices Coalition and is a member of Sound Communities. Her appointments include the City of Seattle’s Redistricting Commission and Washington State Department of Commerce Homeownership Disparities Workgroup. Patience holds a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University, an Organizational Leadership Certificate from George Mason University, and a BA in International Development from Lupane State University in Zimbabwe. 

Photo of Erika Malone, Seattle Office of Housing

Erika Malone, Seattle Office of Housing

Erika is a social sector professional with over 20 years experience in the affordable housing and community development arenas. Her honors include working at both the local and national level on permanently affordable homeownership development, financing, and community stewardship. She is a collaborative and creative team member, facilitator, and strategist. I am a passionate and effective advocate for creating economic opportunity and furthering racial equity and social justice outcomes. Erika believes in, and work towards, creating community-based, non-market solutions to housing stability, and that stable housing is foundational to collective prosperity.

Photo of Sandi Milohov, Guild Mortgage

Sandi Milohov, Guild Mortgage

Helping my clients understand their options for real estate financing so they can make solid home loan decisions is her goal. She is passionate about helping people fulfill their dreams of homeownership.

Raised in Montana, I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2001 and became a Loan Officer in 2008. The northwest is such a beautiful place to call home. She and her husband have two children and, when I am not working, I enjoy crafting, camping, boating and spending time as a family.

Photo of Michelle Morlan, Principle, Lotus Partners

Michelle Morlan, Principle, Lotus Partners


Michelle has been actively engaged in the direct development of affordable housing and community facility projects for over 30 years. As Principal of Lotus Development Partners LLC, a mission-driven development consulting firm, Michelle oversees the work of Lotus team members and provides project management, finance strategy and development services for nonprofit housing owners, primary and behavioral health providers and for-profit developers interested in affordable housing inclusion.

Michelle previously spent ten years as a regional director for a national nonprofit intermediary, where she served as a lead underwriter for their New Markets Tax Credit program, taught housing and economic development finance through a nationally recognized training curriculum to thousands of practitioners each year and provided technical assistance to nonprofit and government clients.

Since 1998, Michelle has managed development of more than 2,500 housing units including shelter beds, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing serving homeless individuals and adults with special needs. She has also developed several community and social service facilities including three multi-service centers, two federally qualified health centers, integrated primary care and behavioral health clinics and several facilities serving low- income youth.


Michelle holds Masters degrees in Social Work and Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. She is a past-Chair of the University of Washington Design and Urban Planning Professionals Council and serves on the Boards of the Seattle-King County Housing Development Consortium, the Public Facilities Group and the Community Roots Housing PDA.

Photo of Dave Osaka, Washington State Department of Commerce

Dave Osaki, Washington State Department of Commerce

David Osaki works on middle housing and racially disparate impact issues with the Washington State Department of Commerce Growth Management Services. He has served as Community Development Director for several Central Puget Sound cities including Fife, Monroe, and Mukilteo. David has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and Bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the University of Washington and has served on planning commissions, a housing authority board and a low barrier tiny home encampment citizen’s advisory committee. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 1986.

Joyce Phillips, AICP, Principal Planner, City of Olympia, Community Planning and Development

Joyce Phillips, AICP, Principal Planner, City of Olympia, Community Planning and Development

Joyce has over 30 years of professional experience in city, county, and state government working on a variety of long-range and current planning issues in both eastern and western Washington communities.  She serves as a Principal Planner for the City of Olympia and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  Joyce holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Geography and Land Studies.  She currently serves as the Professional Development Officer for the South Sound Section of the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association.  Joyce served ten years on the Washington State Commute Trip Reduction Board and is a past recipient of the Barbara Grace Award for public service. 

Photo of Michone Preston, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Washington State

Michone Preston, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Washington State

Habitat for Humanity of Washington State is a collaboration of 30 Habitat affiliates in the state of Washington.  Michone holds a BA from Gonzaga University; an MA in philanthropy & organizational development and an EdD in Adult Education in Leadership with an emphasis in social justice from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. She formerly served as CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Spokane, Cancer Patient Care of Spokane County, Inland Empire Girl Scouts Council, and the YMCA. As a long-term Habitat for Humanity employee, she has served on countless committees at Habitat International including Finance, Advocacy, Fund Raising, Collaborative Operating Models, and many more ad-hoc efforts. She currently serves on the Governor’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board and the national Affiliate Support Organization Alliance’s Executive Board.  In her personal time, she is an owner/operator of Preston Farms & Rock Shandy Cattle Company.  She is passionate about creating opportunity and equity for people experiencing income scarcity. Her diverse experience in urban, suburban and rural settings bring a unique perspective that enhances her statewide leadership.

Photo of Angel Romero, HFA Relationship Manager, Down Payment Resources

Angel Romero, HFA Relationship Manager, Down Payment Resources


As the new HFA relationship manager, Angel is tasked with building and maintaining DPR’s relationships with hundreds of local HFAs nationwide. She has a natural talent for fostering partnerships and developing strategies to ensure down payment and homebuyer assistance programs reach underserved communities that need them the most.


Before joining DPR, Angel was AVP, post-closing manager and resident housing program expert at Cherry Creek Mortgage. Her expertise and hard work played a significant role in the company’s expansion into new markets with help from DPR’s robust DPA Directory.


Angel’s deep mortgage industry experience, strategic mindset and passion for creating opportunities for underserved communities make her an invaluable part of the DPR team. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from Angel as she works tirelessly to empower more people on their journey to homeownership!

Photo of David Reddy, Principal, Building Performance, O’Brien 360

David Reddy, Principal, Building Performance, O’Brien 360

David has more than 15 years’ experience analyzing the performance of buildings, from single-family homes to sports stadiums. He is an advanced user of both the eQUEST and EnergyPlus whole building energy simulation software, and a lead developer of CBECC-Com, an open-source software for California T24 compliance analysis. He is also well-versed in utility/degree-day regression modeling and other methods for evaluating building utility consumption.


His breadth of experience includes using these models to evaluate and optimize building efficiency strategies, complete measurement and verification studies, and document compliance with energy codes and green building certifications, such as LEED®. David is passionate about helping clients make informed decisions on efficiency measures, providing unbiased recommendations for reducing costs while meeting sustainability goals, and expanding the use of actual performance data to inform the building modeling process.

Photo of Trevor Roberge, Capstone Home Loan

Trevor Roberge, Capstone Home Loan

Trevor understands the value of homeownership and empowers his clients with knowledge and confidence through the purchase process. With 17 years in the finance industry, Trevor provides diverse experience in many facets of finance, from mortgage consulting, and credit repair, to personal banking. Trevor understands the importance of providing detailed options and sound recommendations so his clients can make informed choices regarding their mortgage needs, implementing strategies to make wealth-building a reality. Trevor’s experience helps to provide solutions for first-time homebuyers, no money down loans, veterans, savvy investors, and anyone else looking to accomplish the dream of homeownership.


Trevor and his wife currently live in Sammamish with their son and daughter. He enjoys spending time with his family, coaching soccer on the weekends, and making fun videos with his kids to share on YouTube.

Denise Rodriguez, Executive Director, Washington Homeownership Resource Center

Denise Rodriguez, Executive Director, Washington Homeownership Resource Center

Denise is a dedicated advocate for financial empowerment and access to homeownership. As Executive Director of the Washington Homeownership Resource Center (WHRC) since 2019, she leads WHRC’s efforts to increase and preserve homeownership statewide. Viewed as a leader in her field, Denise is an active member of the Black Home Initiative Full Leadership Team and was appointed to the Washington State Department of Commerce Homeownership Disparities Workgroup.

Since 2007, Denise has been worked or volunteered on many financial empowerment initiatives to reduce poverty and increase housing stability. Through this work, Denise has come to firmly believe in the transformative power of homeownership as an essential tool for wealth building and household stability. This conviction has led her to focus on promoting homeownership opportunities, especially for marginalized people intentionally excluded from this important part of the American dream.

She holds a B.S. in Psychology from University of Florida and both an MPA and a MA-International Studies from University of Washington. Denise became a homeowner herself in 2013, thanks to the WSHFC Home Advantage program and the Mortgage Credit Certificate. When she's not tending to her home, you might find her dancing, singing karaoke, or breaking down barriers to homeownership opportunities.


Brooke Schipporeit, National Low Income Housing Coalition

NLIHC is pleased to announce that Brooke Schipporeit, one of the Coalition’s housing advocacy organizers, has been promoted to the position of manager of field organizing. Brooke has served as an NLIHC housing advocacy organizer since January 2019. She has also held positions at Self-Determination Housing of Pennsylvania, RESULTS (Philadelphia), the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project, among other organizations. Brooke holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Nebraska Wesleyan University and an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice.


Brooke will oversee and support the work of NLIHC’s field organizers and report to Sarah Saadian, NLIHC Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Field Organizing, whose role has been expanded to oversee field organizing as well as housing policy. NLIHC is confident that pulling the policy team and field team closer together will create powerful synergy and pay strong dividends.

Photo of Thomas Stagg, Partner, Novogradac

Thomas Stagg, Partner, Novogradac

Thomas is a partner in the metro Seattle office of Novogradac. He specializes in audit and tax services for real estate transactions. He is experienced in auditing affordable housing developments and specializes in the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), and federal governmental auditing requirements, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Housing and NAHASDA. He has extensive experience with LIHTC deal structuring, including assisting developers and investors navigating acquisition/rehabilitation developments and Year 15 disposition issues.


In addition, he has assisted many clients in applying for and obtaining the LIHTC. He has extensive experience in performing LIHTC property compliance testing. Mr. Stagg regularly contributes articles to the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits and serves as an editor on the Novogradac Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Handbook, Novogradac Tax-Exempt Bond Handbook and Novogradac LIHTC Property Management Handbook. He frequently speaks at industry events as well as Novogradac’s affordable housing conferences and webinars. He also works with real estate firms and fund organizers that are working on opportunity zones funds and investments. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University. He is licensed in California and Washington as a certified public accountant.

Photo of Mike Stanger, Senior Planner, A Regional Coalition of Housing (ARCH)

Mike Stanger, Senior Planner, A Regional Coalition of Housing (ARCH)

My passion is doing important work really well for people who need it most. I've been a practicing planner in Washington since 2004 — seven years with Snohomish County and since then at A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH). From 2011-2013 I worked part-time for the Growing Transit Communities project for 3 years under an agreement between ARCH and the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC). I also have 15 years of executive experience in local government (pretty much everything except planning), in the Dallas, Texas area.

Photo of Rian Watt, Community Solutions

Rian Watt, Community Solutions

Rian Watt (he/him) is the Strategy Lead for International Large-Scale Change at Community Solutions, an organization that's helped 14 communities in the United States (and four in Canada) reach a durable, measurable end to homelessness for a population. At CS, Rian leads a team working to build similar movements to end homelessness across Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining CS, Rian led research, technical assistance, & evaluation projects for federal, state, and philanthropic clients at Abt Associates, a national research and evaluation firm, with a focus on housing, homelessness, and anti-poverty efforts. Prior to Abt, Rian worked for Deloitte Consulting's federal organizational transformation practice out of Washington, DC.

In Seattle, where Rian rents with his wife and two cats, he serves as the part-time Executive Director of The Urbanist, a local advocacy journalism organization whose mission is to examine and influence urban policy in the Puget Sound region to deliver abundant housing, safe streets, ubiquitous rapid transit, and a strong, just, decarbonized economy. Rian also serves on the boards of Futurewise, a statewide land use organization, and the Third Door Coalition, which advocates for permanent supportive housing in King County. 

In a prior life, Rian worked as a freelance sportswriter, covering the Mariners, the Red Sox, the Cubs, and national baseball as a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. In this role, he had regular bylines at The Athletic, Baseball Prospectus, Chicago magazine, FanGraphs, FiveThirtyEight, The Ringer, the Sporting News, and VICE Sports. He is sorry about the Mariners.

Photo of Edmund Witter, Senior Management Attorney, Housing Justice Project

Edmund Witter, Senior Management Attorney, Housing Justice Project

Edmund Witter is the Managing Attorney for the Housing Justice Project at the King County Bar Association. Previously, he practiced in New York City as a Supervising Attorney at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, where he oversaw its housing unit in the Bronx. Prior to that, he worked at the New York City Corporation Counsel's Office.

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