Free Public Talk Series Continues Jan. 11 with Discussion on Affordable Housing • Long Beach Post

Photo by Brian Addison. Graphics by Baktaash Sorkhabi.


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Our free talk series, Emphasize, will continue hosting its public forums on Thursday, January 11 at 6:30PM when we tackle affordable housing with a discussion at the Art Theatre on Retro Row. Due to the Planning Commission’s upcoming vote on the controversial Land Use Element, we have moved the date from December 11 to January 11.

Following our successful inaugural event, we will continue hosting these face-to-face conversations that invite some of the nation’s leading experts on complex topics to talk to Long Beach one-on-one.

Our talk on affordable housing will precede future talks on homelessness, gentrification, urban design, and urban planning, each kicking off monthly thereafter.

On Thursday, January 11, we will welcome affordable housing expert and UCLA professor Michael Lens, affordable housing builder Michael Massie of Jamboree Housing, and City of Santa Ana’s Housing Division Manager Judson Brown to the Art Theatre (2025 E. 4th St.) as they join Long Beach’s own Jan Van Dijs on a discussion that will examine California’s housing crisis paired with a look at how development is shaping where housing goes and who gets it.

Lens has noticed a large and growing body of research shows that neighborhoods matter for several life outcomes including economic mobility, education, and safety—research he has directly contributed to. For many reasons, positive neighborhood attributes remain unattainable for low-income households in many U.S. metropolitan areas.

Lens’ work fulfills gaps in the literature that evaluates the potential for housing policy to reduce this separation by focusing on neighborhood safety and access to jobs. This research contributes to this literature in both conceptual and empirical ways. Specifically, this research 1) measures the neighborhood conditions of families that receive housing subsidies; 2) analyzes the potential interactions of crime with subsidized housing and commercial development; 3) identifies how residential location affects employment outcomes; and 4) improves how scholars and policy makers measure neighborhood opportunity for low-income households.

In recent research, Professor Lens is studying the effect of the housing bust on housing subsidy demand and local government finances, the role of public investments in gentrification processes, and the spatial concentration of eviction. Professor Lens’ research has won awards from the Journal of the American Planning Association and Housing Policy Debate.

Among several grants, Lens has a multiyear grant from the MacArthur Foundation to study the effect of the housing boom and bust on local government finances.

Michael Massie’s years of broad experience in all facets of residential development, affordable housing, and real estate finance have been developed across a changing real estate landscape. As the Senior Vice President of Finance, he works to identify and secure new sources of capital and revenue including alternative funding and financial services businesses to support Jamboree’s mission.

Michael returns to Jamboree having previously served as Senior Project Manager from 2005 to 2008, and Director of Housing Development from 2008 to 2014. He managed all aspects of Jamboree’s affordable housing development program, including public and private finance, design, entitlement, and construction of more than 2,800 multifamily units throughout California.

To diversify his experience and knowledge, Michael pursued executive opportunities with other major builders of multifamily housing from 2014 to 2017. At The Picerne Group, he oversaw the development of all of the company’s multifamily projects throughout Southern California and was a member of the executive committee. At Related California, he was vice president responsible for the company’s affordable housing developments in San Diego and Los Angeles counties.

Judson Brown is currently the Housing Division Manager for the City of Santa Ana. Under his direction, he has dealt with everything from a flood of folks seeking Section 8 vouchers to overseeing one of the largest cities in a county that needs to build over 100K affordable units to keep up with demand.

He will be joining our other speakers to talk about the issues Santa Ana has addressed, what is working and what isn’t, and how there is no “silver bullet” when it comes to fixing the housing crisis.

Longbeachize’Emphasize talk series is an event made possible thanks to the Long Beach Community Foundation, Imprint Culture Lab, the Knight Foundation, City Fabrick, Hotel Maya, Southern California Streets Initiative, and Hotel Maya.

For more information, click here.

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