2018 Brown Bag Calendar

Mark your calendars!

February 22

Physically Accessible Affordable Housing – Compliance with Evolving Legal Landscape


The landscape of accessible development standards in affordable housing has changed significantly in the last few years, helping to reduce historical barriers to people with mobility and sensory disabilities and making it imperative for developers, municipalities, and advocates to become familiar with current federal and state accessibility requirements, including recent developments from CTCAC, HCD, and the Division of the State Architect (DSA). Attendees will hear from a Bay Area service provider about the unique challenges people with disabilities face when searching for affordable housing, and panelists will follow-up with a clear overview of federal and state accessibility requirements. Recent developments include new threshold requirements for tax credit developments, an update on HCD funding programs that now include physical accessibility requirements, and a memo from the State Architect regarding the scope of application of state Building Code requirements. In addition to a practical compliance review, the workshop will also include a discussion of the groundbreaking accessibility work the City of LA is doing as a result of a recent $200 million settlement, which is likely to further shape accessibility standards throughout California.

Convened and moderated by Natasha Reyes, Disability Rights California


Registration now closed.

March 22

Enterprise Level Capital Financing: What’s Happening Abroad and Local Applicability


With the recent federal tax reform and reduced tax credit, learn how enterprise level financing is supporting affordable housing development in Amsterdam and Copenhagen and it’s local applicability.

Non-profit affordable housing developers in Amsterdam and Copenhagen primarily utilize enterprise level financing to develop projects and thus, do not rely upon public funds nor are they held accountable to investor obligations for certain financial returns as is the case with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Enterprise level financing can depoliticize the development process, increase the speed of development, and accommodate flexibility that can spur innovation. This Brown Bag will describe the affordable housing financing structures and the institutions that support affordable housing development in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Panelists will share local efforts to facilitate enterprise level financing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants and panelists will have an opportunity to brainstorm elements from the case studies that could be compatible and adaptable locally. This Brown Bag is especially relevant since the value of tax credits has decreased with recently enacted federal tax reform.

Convener and moderater:

Natalie Bonnewit, Bonnewit Development Services

Doug Shoemaker, Mercy Housing California
Kevin Knudtson, Community Economics


Registration now closed.

April 26

Affordable Housing – From Industry to Movement


This Brown Bag will discuss how developers, service providers and advocates can support grassroots efforts and transformative change within their organizations that will lead to a movement that can win political support and funding for more affordable housing. We will highlight Residents United Network (RUN) as well as other local and regional organizations that have began the shift to a more inclusive and powerful platform to advance their advocacy and their organization.

Convened and moderated by Constance Slider Pierre, Housing California

Registration now closed.

August 23

What Lies Beneath: Top 10 Lurking Dangers in Construction Contracts


In the sprint to closing a construction loan for an affordable housing project, the construction contract is frequently overlooked and often misunderstood. While loan documents, partnership agreements, and other documents command attention and negotiation, the construction contract, in contrast, is often treated as a mere afterthought. After all, the AIA-standard forms are mostly boiler-plate stuff that someone must have thought made sense and all we need to think about is the contract sum and the schedule, right? Unfortunately, this conventional wisdom is anything but wise as the standard AIA construction contract is loaded with provisions that could potentially lead to shocking results. This Brown Bag will discuss the 10 most significant provisions, including some hidden risk allocation provisions and other clauses that appear harmless to the untrained eye, but, in fact, fundamentally alter the owner’s expectations.

Convened and moderated by William DiCamillo, Goldfarb & Lipman LLP


Registration now closed.

October 25

Sustainable Site Design: Innovations and Strategies for Developing High Achieving Green Projects


Today we work in a context where affordable housing infill site selection and planning is critical in guaranteeing a project’s ability to compete for funding and rank high on sustainable measure indexes. Particularly, during initial site layout, we must make decisions and evaluate trade-offs that will impact the achievable level of LEED or GreenPoint certification. This Brown Bag will discuss the competing challenges facing green affordable housing projects such as the need to maximize unit count, satisfy parking demands, and design active open space while meeting Stormwater C.3 Guidelines, as well as satisfying jurisdictional and utility requirements.

Through an interdisciplinary panel discussion of case studies, this session will provide project managers with strategies to meet the California Building Code CalGreen, GreenPoint and LEED requirements, in addition to site strategies to help projects exceed Title 24 Energy Modeling requirements.

Convened and moderated by Kim Suczynski Smith, Pyatok Architects


Register today! Please note: registration closes on Wednesday, October 24 at 12pm. 

Rescheduled – Date TBD

Reducing Barriers to Affordable Housing for Homeless Applicants: Implementing a Homeless Preference


Housing organizations intend to serve people with the fewest options, but our long waiting lists, background checks, and complicated application processes fall especially hard on homeless applicants. This Brown Bag explores policy innovations such as HUD’s Opening Doors pilot, in which owners voluntarily adopt preferences for homeless applicants. SAHA requested and received HUD approval to establish a preference for homeless applicants in some subsidized units, opening housing resources to Alameda County’s Whole Person Care pilot, and Homeless Coordinated Entry System. Panelists will also discuss how to reduce barriers to homeless applicants through resident selection policies that ‘screen in’ rather than ‘screen out’ vulnerable populations.

Convened and moderated by Chris Hess, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates