Housing Summit calls for collaboration, building more housing in creative ways

On May 13, the Alhambra Main Street Alliance, in partnership with the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce, hosted the Alhambra Housing Summit where nearly 100 stakeholders joined with elected officials from the city and region to hear from speakers in academia, government, and affordable housing organizations that are addressing housing needs in their work.

Alhambra Mayor Sasha Renée Pérez kicked off the summit by framing the discussion as one where housing needs impact diverse communities that are generationally and economically diverse. And solving the housing crisis will require diverse perspectives to come together to do the work.

Keynote speaker Dr. Dowell Myers, director of USC’s PopulationDynamics Research Group, gave a history of construction booms and busts that have meant new housing creation has not kept pace with population growth. Panelist Ma’Ayn Johnson, Housing Program Manager, SCAG, laid out the current state requirements for meeting housing needs, how those numbers are determined, and what it means for the region as well as individual cities. Panelist Michael Ruane, executive vice president, National CORE, shared insights on projects that transform underused properties into housing communities that enhance the quality of life for longtime and new residents alike.

A second panel featured speakers with experience solving housing shortages in three cities: Stephen Russell, executive director, San Diego Housing Federation; Bill Huang, housing director, City of Pasadena; and Ata Khan, planning manager, City of Pomona. Discussion covered the multi-layered financing needed to build affordable housing, the need to draw from non-traditional allies to work together, and innovations, like “Pro Housing Pomona” that gives residents the tools they need to more meaningfully contribute to conversations and decisions around housing.

Closing speaker Richard Gollis, co-founder and principal of The Concord Group, echoed the generational impact of housing affordability as millennials grow out of young adulthood to their family formation years where affording a home has become nearly impossible for many. The housing crisis numbers aren’t going away, but everyone is in it together. Mr. Gollis called for residents and leaders to work together, having the complex conversations, to define success in ensuring livable cities into the future. A breakout discussion followed the formal program where attendees shared how they might be able to work as part of a whole community approach to addressing the housing crisis.

Throughout the jam-packed program, a clear call for collaboration and building of more housing in creative ways was a main theme that will help drive housing creation in Alhambra.


Housing Summitaffordable housingissuesopportunitieshousing needsstate requirementsleaderslivable citiesAlhambra Main Street AllianceAlhambra Chamber of Commerce

Nov 2021


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