Innovations in Naturally Affordable Housing

Synopsis of Select 14 Sessions

Introduction: Please find a very brief introduction to each of the sessions, listing the presenters and how you can access their programmatic information from their websites, books and articles.  While I took 49 pages of handwritten notes, I do not plan to type them up.

Topic: ADUs

  1. Increasing Residential Density with Manufactured ADUs

Presenter: Patrick Quinton,

Presenter: Galiano Tiramani,

Presented info on why ADUs should be part of the Affordable Housing Solution. CA, OR and WA are leaders in allowing ADUs. Boxabl prefabs a 20’ x 20’ unit that collapses to 8.5’ wide for transportation to site. In CA would sell for approx. $50k.

  • How to Create Affordable Building Lots Using ADU Rules

Presenter: Chris Lee,

A New England small scale real estate developer presented information on how to use a municipal’s existing “Condo” rules to build ADUs in homeowner’s back yards. This was probably the least likely adaptive solution to Colorado’s affordable housing issues.

Topic: Climate Change/Affordable Housing

  1. Win-Win: Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing and Help Address Climate Change

Presenter: Clark Anderson,

A Glenwood Springs, CO program that built “The Coop”, a downtown project that was able to use all of the available energy efficient features and still keep units affordable. He addressed this challenge throughout his presentation.

Topic: Fair Housing

  1. Integrating Fair Housing into Your Community Strategy

Presenter: Zoe Olson,  (link was not working when copied)

The entire presentation emphasized the importance of including Fair Housing language and strategies into affordable housing solutions.

Topic: Homelessness

  1. Low-Cost Housing Options to House the Unhoused (and Those at Risk of Becoming Homeless)

Presenter: Eric Johnson,

He analyzed the homelessness problem and presented strategies to prevent homelessness, including specific housing strategies of which he is part of in CA. He discussed a private, public partnership project that uses prison population to build a mix of 400-600 sq. ft. units., which is called HOPE Village for Homeless, and a church-based tiny home village development.

  • Case Study: Innovation in Housing First

Presenter: Vanessa Fry,

Vanessa is a Research Director and emphatically demonstrated that skill in conducting the research, creating a plan and instituting the plan for approx. 50 homeless people in Boise, ID. After a one-year program evaluation, the savings to the community was estimated to be $2.7 million dollars.

Topic: Land Banks/Land Trusts

  1. Leveraging Land Banks and Community Land Trusts to Create Short-Term Opportunities and Long-Term Affordability

Mariam Axel-Lute,

Doug Ryan,

Basic Premise: Housing stability is tied to our health. Miriam’s website offers great material on affordable housing and Doug mentions our own Boulder example of Community Land Trust ownership,

Topic: Managing the Opposition

  1. How to Manage Local Opposition to Housing and Reform the Public Meeting Process

Presenter: Jim Iglesias,

Presenter: Katherine Levine Einstein,

Two very knowledgeable presenters with books and article written. Katherine has a book “Public Defenders” that is a primer on addressing local opposition to affordable housing initiatives. Jim is an expert in housing issues. Please check out their links above.

Topic: Poverty and Affordable Housing

  1. Transitions to Success: Adding the “Supportive” to the Housing

Presenter: Marcella Wilson,

The presentation’s hypothesis was: Poverty is a treatable environmentally based medical condition, not a person flaw. She then proceeded to give the reasons why and what can we do about it.

  • Innovative Ways to Build Community—Not Just Housing

Presenter: Dr. Latoshia Patman,

Presenter: Rick Fulgenzi,

A review of how Garden View Estates, 341 single-family and rental units, emerged from the dark shadows of the previous public housing project, Herman Gardens. Residents play significant roles in the planning and development of most of the activity.

Topic: Prisoner-Built Affordable Housing

  1. South Dakota Governor’s Homes: A Statewide Program for Affordable, Ownable Housing for Low Income Individuals and Households

Presenter: Mike Harsma,

As the Director of the Single-Family Development arm of South Dakota’s Housing Development Authority, Mike presented how the prison population builds two- and three-bedroom houses for installation to any South Dakota resident that meets the income requirements. Some question the level of pay that prisoners receive, but many earn a trade license while volunteering to build these houses. And the initial price to the resident is unbelievable: a two-bedroom goes for $52,700 and a three-bedroom goes for $57,900.

Topic: Strategies for Affordable Housing

  1. Developing and Implementing a Robust Affordable Housing Strategy: Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together

Presenter: Bill Barberg,

Bill has written numerous books on health and housing issues. He is the mastermind behind the two-day virtual summit. He presented his six-step plan on how to design and implement a robust housing strategy plan.

Topic: Zoning

  1. The Minneapolis Story: Zoning and Policy Innovation

Main Presenter: Cam Gordon, Council Member, City of Minneapolis

Reviewed the housing zoning history of Minneapolis and presents the 2040 Comprehensive Plan the City passed on October 25, 2019.  Minneapolis 2040 Plan includes much more than housing. The one feature that has been in the press a lot is the elimination of single-family zoning.


  • Breaking Out of the Housing Trap

Presenter: Charles L. Marohn, Jr.,

Used his book “A Bottom Up Revolution ‘Strong Towns’ to Rebuild American Prosperity” to make this presentation. He has fascinating ideas on re-creating small towns, including one of his basic ideas, which is to get rid of single-family zoning.