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Beyond Four Walls: Conversations on Affordable Housing

In our ongoing effort to shed light on the persistent affordable housing crisis in America, the National Housing Conference (NHC) is stepping up to the mic with its latest venture, “Beyond Four Walls: Conversations on Affordable Housing.” Hosted by David Dworkin, NHC’s President and CEO, this podcast engages industry leaders and policymakers in candid conversations about America’s pressing housing issues.   

“Beyond Four Walls: Conversations on Affordable Housing” goes beyond the rhetoric and engages with key figures in the housing and finance sectors to discuss tangible, impactful, and achievable solutions to the affordable housing crisis. What are the root causes of the crisis? How can we encourage innovation in housing solutions? What role does legislation play in shaping the future of affordable housing? These are the types of questions we ask our guests. Yet, the podcast also focuses on the personal stories of these housing leaders and policymakers and the journeys that have shaped them into the accomplished leaders they are today. The conversations promise to be insightful, challenge conventional wisdom, and shed light on innovative approaches that can make a real difference. 

Our inaugural episode features Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), who shares his thoughts on the affordable housing crisis and the steps Congress is taking to address this issue stating, “It is a problem across all the Commonwealth, and I think we can extrapolate across all of the country. And some of that is due to the fact that we’ve not increased supply in a dramatic way, literally for years.”  

During the discussion, Senator Warner talks about a wide range of topics including the racial wealth gap, the Basel III Endgame rules, and the importance of public-private partnerships in addressing the financial and economic disparities in underserved communities. During the discussion, Senator Warner talks about a wide range of topics including the racial wealth gap, the Basel III endgame rules, and the importance of public-private partnerships in addressing the financial and economic disparities in underserved communities. “We may have been hitting kind of a perfect storm” Senator Warner said, when asked about the Basel III Endgame rules proposed by banking regulators, “where the higher capital rules are hitting at the same time, we’ve had inflation and interest rates at high levels, which means it’s even harder to get a loan again. And then you’ve got this once in a generation, at least in the commercial real estate market, where a complete transformation of where and how we work is going, and these three things could actually converge and become a disaster.”

Senator Warner also discusses several pieces of legislation he has either introduced or is working on to address these issues such as the LIFT Act, the Community Development Investment Tax Credit, and the LIVE HERE bill, to name just a few. Senator Warner expresses his hope Congress will address housing issues, “…we will put points on the board. I hope and pray it’s going to be this year on housing, because we can’t keep kicking the can.” 

In the coming weeks, we have a stellar lineup of guests including Michael Barr, Vice Chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, who talks about the new Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and how it brings CRA into the 21st century. Discussing topics from changes to how housing credit programs are evaluated under CRA and mortgage-backed security churning to the future of branch banking, Barr comments about the revised rule, “It updates the law to make sure that banks that are using online and mobile platforms that have a national footprint are serving all their communities. It provides greater clarity to banks and communities about what counts under the Community Reinvestment Act, so that the communities can work with banks to find projects that meet the needs of the local community. It provides metrics so there’s greater consistency and transparency about how banks are serving local communities.” 

Future episodes include conversations with housing leaders Linda Mandolini, President of Eden Housing, and Robin Hughes, CEO of the Housing Partnership Network, who will discuss the initiatives their respective organizations are taking to address today’s pressing housing issues across the nation. We also have Richard Rothstein and Leah Rothstein who will talk about their new book, “Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under the Color of Law,” which focuses on actions communities and community organizations can take to address housing segregation. There are also panels of expert housers who delve into diverse topics such as adaptive reuse, the state of Native housing, Generation Z and millennial homeownership, disaster resiliency, and fostering interest in housing and community development careers.  

Twice a month, new episodes of “Beyond Four Walls: Conversations on Affordable Housingwill drop, and you can access them on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. The podcast is also available on To listen, click here. 

“Beyond Four Walls: Conversations on Affordable Housing” wants to amplify voices that bring tangible, impactful, and achievable solutions to today’s pressing housing issues. If you know of individuals, experts, or advocates who are making significant strides in addressing affordable housing challenges or would like to suggest a topic for a future podcast, please email with your recommendation. Together, we can shed light and explore solutions to this crucial issue. 

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