Advocating for change in policy and practice

The International Living Future Institute’s 2023 Affordable Housing Summit is almost here! Join us for the 2-day event on June 20th and 21st to discuss decarbonization and health in affordable housing. A key theme of this year’s Summit is the effect of policies on the building sector and how architects, developers, and other practitioners can work to become advocates for healthy and sustainable affordable housing.

Below is just a sample of the panels that we will be featuring at this year’s summit! Review the agenda for a full list of sessions. There will also be time reserved in the schedule for small breakout sessions to meet fellow attendees, Q+A, and discussion.

We are honored to welcome keynote speaker Drayton Jackson, Executive Director of the Foundation for Homeless and Poverty Management, which emphasizes helping families move from homelessness to housing. A developer of affordable housing, Mr. Jackson also works with policymakers. As co-chair of Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Poverty Reduction Work Group, he helped shape recommendations for a 10-year plan to eradicate poverty in the state. Additionally, he serves on the Central Kitsap School Board.

Also on day one, we will bring together Leaders in Decarbonized Affordable Housing to highlight how affordable housing developers across the country are charting a path to mitigate carbon impacts from new and existing construction. This panel will feature a 4-story Zero Energy multi-family affordable housing project in Boston and a developer pioneering innovative strategies to reduce embodied carbon in the building foundation and sidewalks. 

On day two, we will move our focus to materials and bring together a panel of scientists, researchers, and architects all of whom have been Advocating for Healthier Materials by pushing legislators to develop policies to protect the public from toxicants in our building products, particularly those prevalent in affordable housing.

As we close the Summit, we will hear from the developer and architect of Block Project 009, the first affordable housing project to achieve Petal Certification (and striving for Living Certification), and the developer of a project in the planning stages for Core Certification. These teams are creating new ways of building and working with communities to make living affordable housing a reality. They will discuss how they are engaging deeply with residents and community members; integrating biophilic design, wastewater reuse systems, modular and prefabricated systems; and using natural and bio-based materials. The project teams will also describe how the Living Building Challenge inspired them to become advocates for policy changes.

These are just some of the panelists we are excited to feature at this year’s Summit! Find out more details and register now. Note that we have a sliding-scale for this event to make it accessibly priced for all. We hope to see you all there!

Cover photo: The BLOCK Project. Photo courtesy of Facing Homelessness.

Written By

Susan Puri

As Affordable Housing Director, Susan helps affordable housing projects achieve Living Building Certification through the Institute’s pilot program. She also helps develop resources and educational materials. Originally from the Atlanta area, Susan attended Georgia Tech where she received a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of City and Regional Planning, with a focus on Affordable Housing Development. She has worked in urban planning in Georgia and in Beijing, China. Susan also worked as a LEED Reviewer with Epsten Group for five years, reviewing LEED applications from more than 30 countries and five rating systems. Susan is very much looking forward to exploring the intersection of affordable housing and sustainability at the International Living Future Institute. When not working, Susan loves traveling and is currently learning Hindi.