The Future of Housing After the Crisis
More than 300 people crowded into a downtown Tacoma ballroom the morning of January 22. They came to hear about one of the most important issues facing our economy and American families: the future of the housing market following the crisis of the late 2000s.
The conference was convened by Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10), the only member of the House Financial Services Committee from the Pacific Northwest. Congressman Heck invited United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to deliver the keynote remarks. More than a half-dozen other local industry experts spoke and answered questions as well.
In an op-ed published in The News Tribune the week before the conference, Congressman Heck laid out his views on future housing reform efforts. The Congressman stressed in his remarks at the conference the necessity of getting housing reform done before the summer of 2014. He also emphasized his opposition to the PATH Act, currently awaiting action in the U.S. House. Congressman Heck prefers reform that maintains the availability of the 30-year fixed rate mortgage and continues to provide affordable housing options that American families utilize. Bipartisan legislation in this vein is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate.
In a light-hearted moment, Congressman Heck presented Secretary Donovan with a Seattle Seahawks 12th Man jersey (Donovan is 12th in the Presidential order of succession). Secretary Donovan liked the jersey so much he decided to wear it during his speech.
Krishna Rao of Zillow spoke about the current state of the Western Washington housing market.
Steve O'Connor, Director of the UW Runstad Center for Real Estate, gave an update on changes being considered to federal housing policy.
An expert panel answered questions on housing development in a post-financial crisis world. From left to right: Moderator Dan Fulton, panelists Bill Riley of Bill Riley Communities, Connie Brown of the Tacoma/Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium, Kim Herman of the Washington Housing Finance Commission, Ada Healey of Vulcan Inc., and Rich Bennion of Homestreet Bank.
United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan arrives.
Secretary Donovan thanks Congressman Heck for the 12th Man jersey.
Secretary Donovan addresses the conference.
More than 300 people attended.