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It Works: Converting Motels and Hotels into Affordable Housing

June 17, 2021

The pandemic has created an opportunity for many government agencies and private businesses to try new ideas to address the national shortage of affordable housing. One such welcomed policy opportunity has been a conversion strategy to create more units of deeply affordable housing. While many states and localities have leased space in hotels/motels to provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, several states are finding opportunities to acquire and convert some of these spaces into permanent housing, using federal, state and local resources.

On June 17, Mary Tingerthal, former Commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, led a discussion with housing policy experts from across the country who discussed their motel/hotel conversion programs: what it took politically and practically, policy changes that were needed and future opportunities.


Richard Gentry serves as president and CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission. Mr. Gentry leads an agency with more than 300 employees and an annual operating revenue budget of $268.1 million.

Megan Loeb serves as a program officer at Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), where she focuses on strategic projects to improve economic vitality and housing stability across the diverse landscape of Oregon. Prior to her role at OCF, Megan led corporate social responsibility initiatives for technology companies for two decades.

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Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ore.) was first elected to House District 5 in southern Oregon in November 2016 and reelected to a third term in 2020. She currently serves as Chair of the House Energy and Environment Committee, and as Vice-Chair of the House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery.

Michael Monte serves as CEO at the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) in Vermont. He joined the leadership team in December 2007 and was appointed CEO in January 2021. Michael was a founder of Burlington Community Land Trust and was a board member for Lake Champlain Housing, the two organizations that merged to form CHT.

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Lourdes Castro Ramírez serves as California’s Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. She oversees 10 state departments responsible for expanding affordable housing, developing comprehensive solutions to end homelessness, guarding civil rights protections, regulating banking and financial services, and strengthening consumer protections with the licensing of nearly 4 million working professionals.

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Mary Tingerthal served as Commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency from 2011 to 2019. For the past two years, she had led the Tingerthal Group LLC, which provides consulting services to public and private organizations working to increase the availability of housing that is affordable to low and moderate-income families.



June 17, 2021
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