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LTI seminar focuses on affordable housing.

Local elected officials and housing staff representing municipalities from 28 states and Washington, D.C., convened in Tempe, Ariz., on April 28 and 29 for NLC's Leadership Training Institute (LTI) seminar, "Comprehensive Community Planning: Workforce and Affordable Housing."

With more than 160 attendees, this was the largest LTI seminar ever held by NLC.

In addition to those attending the seminar in Tempe, participants from around the country signed on to a live webcast of the proceedings.

In a collaborative effort between LTI and the National City Network, much of the sold-out seminar was available online. The large turnout reflected the importance of housing issues to NLC members.

"This session was timely and informative," remarked Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Strain, Sierra Vista, Ariz. "Affordable and workforce housing are on our local agenda."

The seminar was co-sponsored by the Fannie Mae Foundation and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns.

Cheyenne Walsh, legislative associate with the Arizona League, attended the seminar. "We are heavily involved in the governor's housing task force and looking into doing a presentation on affordable housing at our league conference this year," she noted to the Leadership Training Institute.

Participants gathered information from speakers and trainers including Peter Beard, senior vice president of policy, information and communications at the Fannie Mae Foundation; Arizona Housing Director Sheila D. Harris; Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies; NLC President James Hunt, councilmember, Clarksburg, W.Va.; and past NLC President and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, currently chairman of CityView, a workforce-housing firm.

In his remarks, Cisneros provided the attendees with ideas for housing solutions, including ways to make sites available for affordable housing, ways to make producing affordable housing more economically feasible, reducing regulatory barriers, using design innovations to spur workforce housing and encouraging action by state governments.

Councilmember Mickey Rosado, Cape Coral, Fla., said he felt the seminar was "on point, with focus on issues of the community challenges and how we can obtain success."

The City of Tempe, through the efforts of Councilmember Barb Carter, put together a program of evening activities that kept the focus on housing and demonstrated Tempe's successful initiatives.

Participants experienced a walking tour of Tempe's downtown area, which has been extensively redeveloped over the past three decades, as well as a boat tour of the ongoing development surrounding Tempe Town Lake.

The events hosted by the City of Tempe allowed attendees additional opportunities to learn and network.

"I expected a useful seminar, but gathered more ideas than I anticipated to take back to my community and implement," said Sharon Robinson, director of administration, Milwaukee. "I made a lot of new contacts who I will use as resources in the future," she added.

Details: The webcast archive for the "Comprehensive Community Planning: Workforce and Affordable Housing" seminar is available for purchase through the National City Network at

For more information on LTI seminars, call (202) 626-3170 or visit the Conferences & Events section of
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Title Annotation:Leadership Training Institute
Author:Weiser, Sara
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 15, 2006
Previous Article:Deadline for World Urban Forum global conference registration approaching.
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