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The Week Ahead: Examining the Barriers to Housing Equity

On Thursday, October 21 at 11:00 a.m. CDT, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies will present the virtual event, “Zoning and Equity.”

Historically, zoning laws have restricted affordable housing and perpetuated the racial wealth gap. This event, hosted by The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy at Boston College Law School, and co-sponsored by the Boston College Black Law Students Association, will explore some innovative approaches by state and local governments to achieve greater housing equity across communities. Is zoning the most effective solution to remedy lack of access to affordable housing? What is the best approach to remedy years of discriminatory impact?

Panelists for this event include Sara Bronin, Professor of Planning and Law at Cornell University; Amy Dain, Consultant, Amy Dain Research (Moderator); Lydia Edwards, Boston City Councilor, District One; and Harley Etienne, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.

Bronin, Professor of Planning and Law at Cornell University, is a leading voice on historic preservation law and related land use practices, and was recently nominated by the Biden Administration to chair the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). The Council advises the President and Congress on decisions and policies that promote the preservation and enhancement of national historic resources. In addition to her books and treatises on land use and historic preservation law, Bronin has written over two dozen articles on renewable energy, climate change, housing, urban planning, transportation, real estate development, and federalism.

Dain has spent 18 years working on state and local policy issues in Massachusetts. At the Collins Center for Public Management, she organized StatNet, a network of city and town managers who meet to learn from each other about data-driven decision-making. At Pioneer Institute, she designed and managed a major study on land use regulation and housing in greater Boston, authored papers, and presented findings at events across the state. She earned her Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Councilor Edwards has spent her entire career as an advocate, activist, and voice on behalf of society's most vulnerable. She served as Deputy Director within the Mayor's Office of Housing Stability where she was responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to fight displacement and brought together all stakeholders, including landlords, management companies, housing authorities, and tenants. She has worked as a public interest attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services, focusing on labor issues, such as access to unemployment insurance, back wages, fair treatment for domestic workers, and combating human trafficking.

Etienne, as Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, teaches in the areas of urban community development, inner-city revitalization, neighborhood change, urban poverty, and qualitative research issues in planning. His research focuses primarily on the intersection of social institutions and their relationship to processes of urban neighborhood change. In 2014, Etienne co-edited Planning Atlanta (Routledge), which surveys the history, challenges, and successes of planning in that city from its earliest beginnings to the present day. In 2012, he published Pushing Back the Gates: Neighborhood Perspectives on University-Driven Change in West Philadelphia (Temple University Press).

Click here for more information or to register for this event.

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About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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